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Colleges decision delayed by Learning and Skills Council

The decision about which stalled college projects will be rescued by the Government’s emergency cash has been delayed.

An announcement was expected to be made tomorrow about which of 71 stalled projects would be rescued by the £300 million announced in April’s Budget.

But chief executive of delivery body the Learning and Skills Council Geoff Russell wrote to college principals yesterday saying the decision would not be made until later this month.

He wrote: “Many more colleges have put forward a case for their projects to be considered as ‘shovel ready’ than expected, so unfortunately we are not in a position to ask the Council on 3 June to approve individual projects.

“The Council will instead consider the evidence from PwC regarding the readiness assessment and the prioritisation process to inform a judgement about which colleges will advance.

“Therefore, no immediate announcements will be made as to which colleges have gone through to the next stage of the process; we will make that announcement later in the month.”

The LSC ran out of money having funded just eight of 79 schemes approved in principle. The UK Contractors Group estimated that 40,000 jobs throughout the construction supply chain could be lost if the projects did not go ahead.