Treasury to vet PFI bids

30th October 1998 at 00:00
The Treasury is to produce an approved list of college building programmes to shore up industry confidence and boost the take-up of Private Finance Initiatives in FE, writes Harvey McGavin.

PFI projects worth more than #163;10 million and with a significant service element - such as catering, sports or information technology - will have to meet new guidelines ensuring their viability, affordability and the commitment of the college. They will then be "signed off" by the Further Education Funding Council before being put out to tender.

Colleges have often struggled to find private-sector partners for PFIs. So far five - New College, Nottingham, Tynemouth, Runshaw, Wigston and Hammersmith and West London - have signed PFI contracts worth a total of Pounds 22.4m. But several of the "pathfinder projects" designed to test the feasibility of such arrangements have failed to materialise.

The lifelong learning minister, George Mudie, said that the new arrangements "will make it easier for the further education sector to attract private sector finance, bringing it in line with those in central and local government, and higher education".

Similar arrangements for HE institutions were announced in April.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today