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LSC shortlist: Jobs will be lost

Jobs will be lost as a result of today’s announcement that just 13 college construction projects will be revived by the Learning and Skills Council, according to a key industry figure.

The delivery body this afternoon revealed its shortlist of colleges to receive a share of £300 million emergency funding it received in this April’s Budget.

The LSC ran out of cash earlier this year, leaving 71 projects in limbo after they received Approval in Principal. Many had already signed up contractors to do the work.

The UK Contractors Group has previously estimated that 40,000 jobs across the construction supply chain were reliant on the 71 projects going ahead.

UKCG director Stephen Ratcliffe told CNplus: “There are going to be job losses. There are 50-plus colleges that are not going ahead.

“Contractors have been signed up, and while some colleges will try to find other funds, some will have to abandon projects. There are going to be casualties here.”

The successful 13 projects are:

  • Barnsley College
  • Bournville College
  • Furness College
  • Hartlepool College of Further Education
  • Kirklees College
  • Leyton Sixth Form College
  • Manchester College – Wythenshawe
  • North West Kent College
  • St Helens College
  • Sandwell College
  • South Thames College
  • Tresham Institute of Further and Higher Education, Corby
  • West Cheshire College

An LSC spokesman said: “Discussions between these colleges and the LSC will now take place as a matter of urgency. All 13 colleges will receive funding only if the overall cost is reduced. The reductions required are significant but manageable.”

Colleges not selected to proceed this year will have to wait for the results of further consultation between the LSC and the sector this autumn to agree a process for prioritising capital investment from 2011.

The LSC added: “Many colleges have incurred development costs for projects which will not now be going ahead in the short term. We have a contingency fund to mitigate the impact of potential aborted costs on the financial health of colleges. This will be limited to those appropriately incurred within the terms of the capital programme.”