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Bell complains

Bell College in Hamilton is to appeal against the findings of a European Commission investigation into 10 projects awarded to the college in 1994-96. The Commission's auditors questioned the way the college spent pound;1.4 million on schemes backed by the European Social Fund. It now wants Bell to hand back up to 70 per cent of the ESF cash, which it says the college claimed for students who could not be identified.

Ken MacCallum, the college principal, insisted they had complied with standard practice at the time of placing ESF students in existing classes. Some 1,300 students benefited from the European money which part-funded their courses in business, engineering, science and computing.

The college has submitted its response through the Scottish Executive. It has decided not to bid for any more ESF support pending the outcome of its appeal.

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