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Energy Efficiency Grants available for FE colleges

The Learning and Skills Council (LSC) has launched a £20 million capital fund aimed at encouraging colleges to implement projects that reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions. The scheme is part of the Government’s continued commitment to renew the FE estate and to build sustainable colleges for the future.

Energy Efficiency Grants will be available to FE colleges for projects costing up to £150,000 in total that produce energy savings and reduce carbon emissions over a period of up to five years. Colleges seeking grants for such projects need to apply by 11 February 2008 to be considered for the first phase, and successful projects will receive funding in March and April 2008. 

The LSC is working in partnership with Salix Finance to implement the scheme. The LSC will fund projects, assessed by Salix, that deliver energy savings equal to the project’s initial capital costs.

The launch of Energy Efficiency Grants highlights the lead the LSC is taking in renewing the FE estate and achieving sustainable development. The LSC is committed to investing £600 million annually on capital projects by 2011 to renew the FE estate, and over the past six years has approved grants of around £1.5 billion to support 620 building projects in the learning and skills sector, worth a total of around £3.8 billion. More than half of the FE estate has already been renewed, providing high quality sustainable facilities to all learners.

Early next year the LSC will launch a sustainable capital development action plan that will encourage colleges to ensure that their new developments are designed to high standards of sustainability and will also encourage sustainable development in their existing estates.

Mark Haysom, Chief Executive of the LSC said: “The launch of Energy Efficiency Grants further demonstrates the LSC’s commitment to encourage sustainable development as we work with our partners to renew the FE estate. The FE sector now boasts world class, inspirational environments in which to learn, and these grants will ensure they are also eco-friendly and cost effective buildings.”

Bill Rammell MP, Minister of State for Lifelong Learning, Further and Higher Education, said: “Government must lead the way in employing creative thinking to tackle climate change, and this project exemplifies how this can work. Innovative design has the potential to transform the FE estate, creating state-of-the-art 21st century facilities that are not only inspiring places to learn, but also environmentally friendly and sustainable.”

Peter Mallaburn, Chief Executive of Salix added: “Colleges that invest in projects that deliver energy and carbon savings, will over a short period deliver cost savings which free up resources for core services. By improving their environmental performance and energy efficiency, colleges will also enhance their reputation amongst both current and prospective students.

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