Revealed: 32 colleges bag £70m from HE capital fund

Allocations for improving higher education facilities range from £150k to £5.8m

Allocations for improving higher education facilities range from £150k to £5.8m

More than 30 colleges have secured £70 million of capital funding from the higher education regulator.

The Office for Students today announced the outcome of a £399 million bidding exercise to support investment in new buildings, facilities and equipment.

Universities secured the lion’s share, as expected, but the list of 100 winners show 32 colleges were among the successful applicants and received individual allocations ranging from £150,000 to £5.8 million.

It follows other recent capital funding awards for colleges, worth hundreds of millions of pounds, including for energy efficiency, T Levels and reclassification to the public sector.

There were 203 bids to the OfS’ capital fund for higher education facilities. The 32 colleges secured £70 million between them.

The maximum amount on offer per provider was £5.8 million – an allocation that five colleges managed to secure.

Susan Lapworth, chief executive of the OfS, said: “Competition for funding was strong, with high-quality applications from across the sector. The OfS-funded projects will ensure current and future students have a positive experience while studying expensive-to-deliver subjects that are strategically important to society. Taxpayers will feel these benefits too, as the investment will boost local and regional economies and support environmental sustainability.”

Education secretary Gillian Keegan added: “This investment is about making sure students get the highest quality training in key subjects which are driving economic growth. That means access to top of the range facilities which prepare people for the workplace, filling skills gaps and levelling up the whole country.”

Burnley College was one of those awarded the maximum allocation of £5.8 million and will use its funding to add three additional floors to its university centre. The development will include an employability and skills hub, bio-medical laboratory, observation laboratory, cyber security suite, robotics and automation workshop, library study area, and lecture theatre.

Another, NCG, will use its £5.8 million to builds two specialist hubs in construction, engineering and energy and digital technologies, while Bradford College will spend their £5.8m for their garden mills project, which will create flexible training facilities for digital, science, and allied health subjects.

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