News story

Further education colleges awarded £20 million to improve estates

Funding of £20 million to improve the quality of 126 FE colleges was announced by Skills Minister Nick Boles today (Friday 27 March 2015).

The money, allocated by the Skills Funding Agency, means colleges can improve the facilities for students and local employers. Colleges have been identified for grants based on the condition of their estates and each will receive funding ranging from £80,000 to £300,000. The grants have been allocated from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills’ £330 million capital investment fund for further education colleges.

Skills Minister Nick Boles said:

From the creation of more than 2.2 million apprenticeships since 2010 to the huge progress we’ve made in tackling unemployment, Further Education Colleges are playing a vital role in getting people the skills they need to get on. Our evidence shows that apprenticeships give the highest return on investment and that’s why we’ve prioritised funding in this area.

This £20 million investment will enable dozens of colleges to carry out essential works and further improve the quality of their skills provision.

We recognise that colleges have faced budgetary challenges and I am confident that those who maximise their spending power through the delivery of apprenticeships and traineeships, offer in-demand high quality courses and diversify their funding streams will go from strength to strength.

The Government has committed more than £3.9 billion in 2015-16 for adult learning and further education with funding prioritised towards apprenticeships, traineeships and support with English and maths. This includes £770 million for apprenticeships, £498 million available for adult learning loans and £216 million for community learning.

The colleges will be expected to carry out works as soon as possible and provide 50 per cent matched funding, subject to affordability.

A full list of the colleges receiving grants is available below.

Capital works grant 2015 – eligible colleges

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The funds allocated to the eligible colleges will be used for capital works that will meet one or more of the following criteria and will:

  • improve the condition of the college’s estate and/or reduce the size of the college estate
  • provide clear and direct benefits to the learner experience
  • contribute to economic growth consistent with Local Enterprise Partnership priorities, and/or
  • reduce estates’ running costs and carbon emissions

The colleges will be expected to carry out works as soon as possible and provide 50 per cent matched funding, subject to affordability.

This money has been allocated from the Capital Works Grant.