More college capacity projects get the go-ahead

An extra batch of college capacity bids have been approved to build more teaching space for projected rises in school leavers.

An extra batch of college capacity bids have been approved to build more teaching space for projected rises in school leavers.

20 Jun 2022, 15:44

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A share of £8.6 million has been awarded to eight FE and sixth form colleges to make space for rising numbers of 16 to 19-year-olds. 

This funding comes from the Department for Education’s post-16 capacity fund, which had already allocated £83 million for 2021-22 to help colleges handle a demographic boom. 

The department says that it secured a small amount of additional funding for this year and so has selected the next eight highest scoring bids.

The DfE published the names of the additional eight colleges this morning. The list includes general further education colleges in Bath and Plymouth alongside sixth form colleges in Newham, Stockton-on-Tees and Worcester.

The department wouldn’t say how much each college would receive, or even an outline of what projects colleges were planning to spend the money on “due to commercial sensitivity reasons”.

The post-16 capacity fund was announced in the November 2020 spending review to build more teaching spaces to accommodate projected increases in the population of 16 to 19 year-olds. Thirty-nine post-16 providers won a share of £83 million from the fund for projects this year.

Wolverhampton College used funding from the first round of the capacity fund to build a £1.9 million construction training extension to one of its campuses.

The fund was only available to sixth form colleges, 16 to 19 academies, 16 to 19 free schools such as university technical colleges, and general FE colleges.

Today’s announcement brings the total spending from the fund to nearly £90 million across 47 institutions. 

The department has said there will be details of a further bidding process in due course.

The names of the providers awarded a share of the £8.6 million for 2022-23 are:

  • Bath College
  • BePART Educational Trust (Birkenhead Sixth Form College)
  • City College Plymouth
  • Education Training Collective Bede Sixth Form College
  • NCG
  • New City College – Redbridge Campus
  • Newham Sixth Form College
  • Worcester Sixth Form College

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