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Colleges to receive extra £270m for estate improvement

The new money raises total further education capital funding to £544m over 2013-14 and 2014-15 to help improve college buildings.

Skills minister Matthew Hancock said the announcement was “good news” for construction as the government tries to kickstart £1.5bn of college construction projects in the next two years.

For 2013-14 an extra £250m will add to £219m already committed. For 2014-15 an additional £20m will be allocated on top of the £55m previously applied.

The FE College Capital Investment Strategy sets out the government’s capital funding priorities for the remainder of this Parliament.

According to the department for business, innovation and skills over half of all colleges asses their estate as “poor or inoperable”. About 800,000 pupils and students are currently in buildings that need extra investment.

BIS estimates that a £5 million college refurbishment project would typically employ about 60 people, while a £20m college relocation could create 600 jobs.

College projects worth about £1bn have been enabled by funding of £330m allocated since May 2010, says BIS.

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