FENLAND: College of West Anglia unsuccessful in funding bid to start March campus

PUBLISHED: 17:21 26 June 2009 | UPDATED: 09:08 02 June 2010

WEB EXCLUSIVE: The College of West Anglia has been unsuccessful in its attempt to secure £70million of funding from the Learning and Skills Council for its March campus project. The failure could again cast the project into serious doubt.

WEB EXCLUSIVE by: TOM JACKSON

THE College of West Anglia has been unsuccessful in its attempt to secure £70million of funding from the Learning and Skills Council for its March campus project.

The failure could again cast the project into serious doubt – it could now be delayed a number of years.

Only 13 colleges across the country have secured funding, out of the 180 projects submitted to the LSC. They 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, and West Cheshire College.

The Learning and Skills Council said it approved projects which would have the largest impact for communities, and considered the current state of buildings.

A statement released by the LSC said: “For colleges which have not been selected to proceed this year, the next steps will start this autumn when we will further consult with the sector to agree a robust, fair and transparent process for prioritising the capital investment programme for the next spending review period starting in 2011/2012.

“The size and scope of the programme will depend in large part on the outcome of the next spending review.”

Work was ready to start earlier this year when funding collapsed – and it prompted the Cambs Times and Wisbech Standard to launch the Where’s Our Bloody College’ Campaign.

You supported the campaign in your droves – hundreds of you signed our petitions on our websites and on March Market Place.

We also wrote to Prime Minister Gordon Brown and secured the backing of senior college officials and public figures, such as Malcolm Moss MP and Fenland District Council leader Geoff Harper.

Following the collapse, an inquiry carried out by Sir Andrew Foster blamed poor management within the LSC, and it subsequently cost chief executive Mark Haysom his job.

But, only last month, college bosses were optimistic in securing the funding, because construction could start in March within three months.

YOUR VIEWS: Email thomas.jackson@archant.co.uk


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