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LSC approves two more capital projects as funding review committee wraps up


The Learning and Skills Council (LSC) approved two more 16-19 projects at its final Capital Committee meeting today.

The green-light sees Bishop Challenor School in Birmingham providing additional accommodation for 84 new 16-19 learners. The second successful project will result in the creation of the Lowestoft Sixth Form College, which will be at the centre of the region’s post-16 education reorganisation.

“In the four years that the capital programme has been running, we have made real investment in 16-19 capital projects and the two projects approved today demonstrate again why this commitment is needed,” said Iain Wright, Minister for 14-19 Reform.

“We have the highest ever number of 16 and 17 year olds participating in education backed by the September Guarantee and the January Guarantee as well as an increase of 80,000 who will be getting the Education Maintenance Allowance. So we have to increase the number of places available, especially in areas where there is a shortage, and then follow that by investing in the capital.”

The projects were given approval following a tough prioritisation review, after the number of capital applications exceeded the available budget.

The LSC’s 16-19 Capital Programme review has now come to an end. Colleges, local authorities and schools planning capital schemes for this age group will need to await the outcome of the next Comprehensive Spending Review next year.

Geoff Russell, LSC chief executive and Skills Funding Agency chief executive designate, commented: “The 16-19 Capital Programme was introduced in April 2006.  Since then, the LSC has approved 121 projects across all regions in  the country.  A total of £588m has been provided in grants to support a total build programme of £666m.  This programme has been an outstanding success and is a major part of the LSC legacy to learners of 16 to 19 years of age.”

Susannah Fairbairn

(Pictured: LSC chief executive Geoff Russell)

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