UK Government

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (National): £50m renewal begins for successful colleges

Press Release   •   Sep 08, 2010 13:24 BST

Business Secretary Vince Cable today announced the 149 colleges across England that will benefit from funding of £50 million from the Government to invest in new buildings and renovate existing ones.

These 149 colleges will each receive up to a £225,000 Renewal Grant, with some successful bidders winning extra Government funds taking their totals up to £1 million.

These colleges will more than match Government funding by raising money from private sources, which will allow them to renovate buildings and update facilities, giving students access to more modern and sophisticated equipment.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said:

“Back in May the Coalition announced £50m of investment in college building programmes which will now benefit more than a hundred colleges across the country.

“Improving people’s skills is a key part of this Government’s plans to secure economic growth, and colleges are right in the frontline of this challenge.

“We want them to be able to attract students and give them the best learning experience possible.

“In allocating this £50 million funding, we have seen some impressive bids come in for ambitious and innovative projects from colleges that are planning for the future.

“Helping colleges modernise their facilities will give them a much-needed boost at a time when education could not be more important, and I am glad we have been able to provide them with this support.”

Further Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning Minister John Hayes said:

“We are keeping our promises to the sector by providing colleges with the funding that will make a real difference to thousands of students, lecturers, and the communities they live and work in.

“Colleges should be inspiring places, where students can gain new skills and enjoy new experiences that transform their lives.

“When I announced this investment earlier this year, I wanted to show that we are proud of our colleges. The projects they build with this money will give their staff and students even more to be proud of.

“This is good news for all those that want to improve their skills and get on in life, good for FE and good for the communities colleges serve.”

The £50 million grant comprises £30 million of Renewal Grant, split equally between eligible colleges; and £20 million of Enhanced Renewal Grant, taking some allocations up to £1 million.

Colleges are expected to attract additional private finance to add to the Government grants, providing final projects of significant value. Government grants will be provided by the Skills Funding Agency, and have been raised through funds reallocated from the Train to Gain scheme.

Building will start immediately on most projects, with new facilities becoming available from the start of the 2011 academic year

Criteria set for colleges wishing to submit a bid for a share of the funding included:

·        Condition of the college and its facilities;

·        The benefits to learners; and

·        Adding to regeneration of local communities.

Colleges submitting bids cannot have received more than £5 million of funding approved in the past by the Learning and Skills Council and the Skills Funding Agency. Bids also needed to show that the building project could be completed by September 2011.

Notes to editors:

1. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills announced at the end of May that £50 million of funding for the Train to Gain programme was being recycled for Further Education capital projects, and a further £150m to provide an extra 50,000 apprenticeships.

2. The Government’s announcement confirmed that the £50 million will be

allocated in two parts:

        Renewal Grant – All eligible colleges will receive an initial allocation of

£225,000 each. This was subject to those colleges making an

additional contribution of twice the allocated amount to an appropriate

project. The allocation represents a minimum of one third of the overall

project investment.

        Enhanced Renewal Grant - All eligible colleges had the

opportunity to bid through a challenge process for further funds,

increasing the total grant available to up to £1million for an individual

project. Projects had to demonstrate that they will deliver clear

benefits in terms of improved condition of the college estate, benefits to learners and impact on urban and rural regeneration. As with the

Renewal Fund allocation, colleges were required to provide their own

funding equivalent to at least two thirds of the cost of the investment;

The Renewal Fund allocations will be paid to colleges in September 2010.  The Enhanced Renewal Fund grant will be paid in equal monthly instalments from October 2010 to March 2011.

Colleges eligible for either of these two grants are Further Education colleges that will have received less than £5 million of grant since the 1 April. The Colleges were selected through an assessment and moderation process in agreement with key opinion formers. The funding is only available in the current financial year, to 31 March 2011.

3. The full list of colleges receiving funds will be available on the Skills Funding Agency website at:http://skillsfundingagency.bis.gov.uk

4. BIS' online newsroom contains the latest press notices, speeches, as well as video and images for download. It also features an up to date list of BIS press office contacts. Seehttp://www.bis.gov.uk/newsroom for more information.

Contacts

NDS Enquiries 
Phone: For enquiries please contact the above department 
ndsenquiries@coi.gsi.gov.uk