More than 180 colleges to share £200 million of capital funding, government reveals

Colleges have been handed up to £4.5 million to repair and refurbish buildings and campuses in a £200 million boost for providers, details of which have been revealed today. 

More than 180 colleges will share the boost, according to the Department for Education, in what education secretary Gavin Williamson called “brilliant news” for the sector. 

Williamson said a key part of building a “world-class further education system” is ensuring “colleges are fit for the future – with better facilities and brand-new buildings”. 

He said colleges can start work on renovations “immediately” as “now more than ever, it is vital that colleges can support their students to gain the skills they need to progress and help the economy to recover and grow”. 

NCG, which runs colleges across the country, is the biggest beneficiary, scoring £4,597,902 from the pot. 

Capital City College Group, based in London, received the second highest amount with £4,535,305, while London-based New City College is third-highest with £3,685,336. 

The chief executive of the Association of Colleges David Hughes said colleges “will be pleased” by their allocations and it will help them provide “the facilities, advice, support and high-quality teaching young people and adults need”. 

This funding is part of a £1.5 billion capital investment in England’s FE estate over the next five years, promised by chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak in his March budget. 

In June, it was announced by prime minister Boris Johnson the government would ‘fast track’ this £200 million a year earlier than was planned. 

The government previously said colleges would have to match funding with 21 per cent. Yet FE Week understands colleges will not need to match the funding announced today. 

The funding does come ahead of a much-anticipated White Paper by the government, which FE Week reported in May could involve the government imposing much greater control over colleges. 

The government is also due to start tendering later this year for a further eight Institutes of Technology, vocational providers run between universities, FE colleges, and employers. 

These new institutes – which will be placed in certain local enterprise partnership areas – are on top of 12 institutes commissioned in April 2019. 

FE Week analysis of the first 12 found there were no institutes planned for the north west or the east of England, but the department has said this next competition will “ensure that all parts of England is covered by Institutes of Technology”. 

See how much was received by each of the colleges awarded capital funding here, and the ten colleges which received the most below:

Name Further education capital allocation 
NCG £4,597,902
The WKCIC Group £4,535,305
New City College £3,685,336
Leeds City College £2,989,776
Activate Learning £2,793,421
Nottingham College £2,757,525
South and City College Birmingham £2,516,994
LTE Group T/A The Manchester College £2,338,681
South Thames Colleges Group £2,244,401
East Kent College £2,240,502