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Hope for colleges with building ambitions; COLLEGES.

The budget threw up major hopes for local colleges after it was announced that an extra pounds 300 million will go towards funding building projects nationally over the next two years.

Bournville, Sutton Coldfield and Sandwell colleges are all separately hoping for approval of their major relocation schemes which would cost a total of pounds 211 million.

But a funding shortfall, revealed following a recent independent review, had left the projects in doubt.

Alistair Darling said the additional money would enable the Learning and Skills Council to fund a "limited number" of further projects, starting in 2009-10, based on prioritisation criteria yet to be agreed.

Association of Colleges chief executive Martin Doel said: "We are pleased that Government has pledged extra support for college building projects at such a difficult time.

"There is still a shortfall and some colleges with well-considered plans will be disappointed.

AoC will continue to work with Government to explore options for further funding." In addition, the Government is making pounds 250 million available towards creating more sixth form places this year, with a further pounds 400 million provided for 2010-11. This will help to create 54,000 more sixth form places, Mr Darling said..
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Apr 23, 2009
Words:199
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