The Learning and Skills Council has approved two more college construction projects in a shock move this morning.
As well as Manchester College – the last of the 13 shortlisted projects to be approved – it has found more than £30 million for Lancashire, Skelmersdale and Ormskirk College.
The college, now part of Newcastle College, will create a new campus in Skelmersdale. The total project cost is £42.8 million, and the LSC will contribute £32.6 million.
Scores of colleges and contractors were left in limbo when the LSC ran out of cash earlier this year. The Government handed the LSC £300 million emergency funding in April’s Budget to rescue some projects this financial year.
The LSC then shortlisted 13 colleges to share this money – Manchester being the final one to receive approval for funding after value for money and cost reduction reviews.
Manchester College will be revitalising its campus on Brownley Road, Wythenshawe, to improve its vocational and sixth form facilities. The total cost of the project is £27.5 million and the LSC will contribute £7.038 million.
LSC chief executive Geoff Russell said: “I am pleased to be able to confirm the projects for Manchester and Skelmersdale. Both projects will provide new, modern education facilities needed in both areas, and both projects will be major investments for their communities.”
He added: “Confirmation of these projects completes the first phase of the major review of college capital funding that the LSC has been conducting for almost a year.
“We have managed the difficult task of investing limited funds for the projects that will meet the highest level of needs, as recommended by Sir Andrew Foster’s review. I am grateful for the support of our partners in ensuring the review was successful.
“The LSC will now turn its attention to how future funding can achieve the greatest impact for learners and employers.”