Beacon Awards were launched in 1994 to promote links between FE colleges, business and professional and voluntary-sector organisations.
The programme offers a joint industry-Association of Colleges' stamp of excellence, recognising outanding practices and quality across the FE curriculum. Particular attention is given to programmes that increase understanding of the colleges' contribution to the UK economy.
Winners are given development grants to boost the projects. In return, they must publish the results of their work to promote similar improvements in other colleges.
Grants for each award this year were a minimum of Pounds 2,000 for each winner. The awards in each case must promote the business needs of the sponsor, where relevant.