£2.4m project for new college training centre

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Myerscough College is to spend £2.4m on a new skills training centre for those not in employment, education or training (NEETs), apprenticeships and foundation learning.

It is among five North West colleges spending £24.2m on projects ranging from improved facilities for apprenticeships, to a new building for construction, science, engineering and digital technology, thanks to co-investment from the Government. Around £7.9m is being invested in the region, through the Skills Funding Agency, which will be more than matched with £16.3 million investment from colleges.

The funding is the third phase of the Enhanced Renewal Grant (ERG3) which has contributed £330m across England since May 2010, supporting more than £1 billion of investment in college buildings.

Skills minister Matthew Hancock said: “Investing in our college campuses will provide an environment where students can enjoy learning and use modern resources that will equip them with work-ready skills.

“Too many classrooms in the past have been uninspiring and not fit for purpose.

“This fund will create specialist facilities that will ensure thousands of students get the best possible learning experience.

Kim Thorneywork, chief executive of the Skills Funding Agency, said: “Following a high demand of inspirational applications for the Enhanced Renewal Grant, it is great news that the successful colleges will receive government funding, through the agency, to support their projects and enable them to be brought to life.”

Julian Gravatt, Association of Colleges (AoC) assistant chief executive, said: “AoC is delighted to have supported the recent Enhanced Renewal Grant funding process.

“These grants will provide much needed capital funding to colleges across England.

“These colleges will now be able to improve their facilities for the benefit of the learners, businesses and the communities they serve.”

Colleges were invited to apply for up to £3m for individual projects, with an expectation that the facilities will be ready to use by September 2014.

The resources are aimed at colleges that have not received significant funding in the recent past.