College capital fund: 16 colleges to benefit

The DfE will work with 16 institutions most in need of improvements through the FE capital transformation fund

Tes Reporter

College buildings: 16 colleges that will benefit from capital fund

Activate Learning, the DN Colleges Group and Education Partnership North East are among the FE institutions set to receive capital funding from the Department for Education.

The FE capital transformation fund is worth £1.5 billion and was introduced to rebuild college estates and create modern, fit-for-purpose spaces to meet the needs of students and the communities they serve. 

The specific funding due to be allocated to each college is yet to be finalised, the DfE said. 

Apprenticeships and skills minister Gillian Keegan said that as the country recovered from the pandemic, it was vital colleges continued to be great places to learn with excellent facilities.

Improving college buildings

“It is fantastic news that we are launching the next phase of this transformation programme, working with a small number of colleges that are some of the most in need of support to upgrade and revitalise their estates," she said.

“Our priority is making sure every student receives high-quality education and training, no matter where they live, so they can gain the skills they need to progress into work and help the economy to rebuild and grow.”

Capital funding: Colleges raise time pressure concerns

Long read: How to spend £1.8bn on college estates and buildings?

Background: Colleges to receive £200m in capital funding

Stuart Rimmer, chief executive and principal of East Coast College, said: “The announcement today is hugely welcomed by East Coast College. We are delighted to be working directly with Department of Education to create the most ambitious college building programme ever in the eastern region. It will create a stunning, modern, multimillion pound twenty first century campus in Great Yarmouth.

"It will be designed by our staff and students and local employers to provide an exciting campus which is inclusive and accelerates learning and development of technical skills at higher levels. This is superb news for the college but also the town and region.”

The fund was first launched in September 2020, with 186 institutions receiving a share of the £200 million capital allocation. 

However, in October providers raised concerns with Tes around the time available to utilise the capital funds allocated to them by the deadline set by the government.

Liz Bromley, chief executive of NCG – the group that received the largest allocation – told Tes at the time that it warmly welcomed the release of this much-needed funding to improve NCG’s learning environments.

“Given the extent of some of the works that we need – and would very much like – to undertake, we wouldn’t even get through the procurement process by March of next year, let alone have completed the work," she said.

“This means that we are bringing forward any and all work that can be completed – whether normally it would be prioritised or not – because we are being driven by the funding timetable rather than strategic imperatives.”


Capital funding for colleges: the next 16 to benefit 

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