FENLAND: Credit crunch will inevitably delay new �189 million College of West Anglia campuses

By JOHN ELWORTHY A QUESTION mark hangs over how quickly the College of West Anglia can forge ahead with its �189 million new campuses for March and Kings Lynn. The Government s Learning and Skills Council says it will have to prioritise funding as demand

By JOHN ELWORTHY

A QUESTION mark hangs over how quickly the College of West Anglia can forge ahead with its �189 million new campuses for March and Kings Lynn.

The Government's Learning and Skills Council says it will have to prioritise funding as demand for cash outstrips supply to maintain their ambitious nationwide programme.

"Clearly there are more schemes currently presenting applications than can be funded in this spending round," says the council. "Not all schemes can be implemented in the original timescales envisaged."


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Their statement followed crisis talks last when the council heard updates on their plans for a �2.3 billion investment in the next three years. In Fenland the college envisages a 15,260 metre campus being built on a 150 green field site off the A141 and at a cost of nearly �70 million.

The council heard that the ability of many colleges to raise contributions to their own schemes through the sale of existing assets is being affected by the down turn.

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This is especially true in Wisbech where the former Isle site and College of West Anglia sites have been approved for housing but no buyer has been found.

David Lammy, Minister of State for Higher Education, told MP Malcolm Moss that 700 projects at 330 colleges- including support for the College of West Anglia- had been agreed.

"But the pace of demand for capital funding has increased," Mr Lammy told Mr Moss, the MP for NE Cambs.

David Russell, director of finance and resources at the skills council, said a meeting earlier this year at the college considered the phasing of the Kings Lynn and March campuses and to "consider other factors affecting the vitality of the project".

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