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College seeks okay for campus revamp

CONTRACTS - ESSEX

CONTRACTORS are sweating on a decision by the Learning and Skills Council over whether to give the green light to a further education college revamp in Essex.

The council, which funds education for over-16-year-olds in England, is studying a £33 million plan by Epping Forest College to spruce up its dilapidated campus in Loughton.

College bosses have applied for money from the body which is now running the rule over its bid. The council also has to approve plans by the college to sell off 4 ha of land for housing to part-fund the work.

Three firms ? Amec, Kier and Fitzpatrick ? are still battling for the job, which is slated to start next month in time for a September 2007 opening.

But one insider said: 'Realistically, work might not start until February. Hopefully there will be a decision before Christmas.' Amec has been tipped as the team to beat but officially all three firms are still in the running for the work.

Besides building a new campus, the winning firm will also construct a sports centre.