News Colleges Get £50m Renovations

Business Secretary Vince Cable today announced the 149 colleges across England that will benefit from funding of £50m from the Government to invest in new buildings and renovate existing ones.These colleges will each receive up to a £225,000 Renewal Grant, with some successful bidders winning extra Government funds taking their totals up to £1m.

These colleges will more than match Government funding by raising money from private sources, which will allow them to renovate buildings and update facilities, giving students access to more modern and sophisticated equipment.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said:

“Helping colleges modernise their facilities will give them a much-needed boost at a time when education could not be more important, and I am glad we have been able to provide them with this support.”

The £50m grant comprises £30m of Renewal Grant, split equally between eligible colleges; and £20m of Enhanced Renewal Grant, taking some allocations up to £1m.

Colleges are expected to attract additional private finance to add to the Government grants, providing final projects of significant value. Government grants will be provided by the Skills Funding Agency, and have been raised through funds reallocated from the Train to Gain scheme.

Building work will start immediately on most projects, with new facilities becoming available from the start of the 2011 academic year.

Criteria set for colleges wishing to submit a bid for a share of the funding included:

• Condition of the college and its facilities;

• The benefits to learners; and

• Adding to regeneration of local communities.

Colleges submitting bids cannot have received more than £5m of funding approved in the past by the Learning and Skills Council and the Skills Funding Agency. Bids also needed to show that the building project could be completed by September 2011.

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