Further education funding story success
The Skills for Londoners Capital Fund received a boost earlier this year when a second round of funding was announced, with a commitment to invest in 17 further education projects across the capital. 20,000 Londoners are now set to benefit from £57.6 million of improvements to training facilities and equipment, with matched funding from the applicants increasing the final investment.
The fund supports the build and refurbishment of training facilities to support skills development, training and adult learning across digital, health and social care, science and technology and construction. The Mayor of London previously committed £25 million for the first round of funding.
A success story from the first round is Richmond upon Thames College, awarded over £30 million to support the development of fit-for-purpose facilities. This investment is supporting the renewal and rationalisation of the estate by creating an outstanding campus for education, skills and enterprise.
ISG is delivering the first phase of the wider £80 million masterplan to transform facilities at the highly-rated institution. Awarded via the influential Pagabo framework, the scheme sees the construction of a five-storey teaching block adjacent to the existing campus buildings. The state-of-the art learning environment will host up to 3,000 students when it opens at the end of 2019.
Project partners gathered in the summer to celebrate the milestone of ‘topping out’ and it also provided an opportunity to reinforce what this project means for the borough and the wider sector.
Sir Vince Cable, former Liberal Democrat Party leader and MP for Twickenham, attended the event and said: “This outstanding building will turn this college into place of distinction for vocational and educational training and apprenticeships in the region, and I’m really proud to be associated with the project. We have to make sure the further education sector in the UK is properly supported.
“Post-school education is not just about universities and having a successful further education sector is absolutely critical to the future of the country. I am delighted that the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames is hosting such a forward-thinking project.”
Barking and Dagenham College also features as a funding success story, having opened the multi-million-pound Jubilee Building at its Rush Green campus in September 2013. Building on this success, the college has continued to invest in its facilities, and in another project awarded by the Pagabo framework, ISG is currently delivering its new Centre of Advanced Technologies.
With the second round of projects from the Mayor’s Skills for Londoners Capital Fund now coming to fruition, it’s important to recognise the success stories of the projects to date and also the vital role that the sector plays in making sure people have the skills they need to get on in life.
Funding also looks set to be a hot topic of discussion at the Association of Colleges annual conference in Birmingham this month, with the debate focusing on whole college health – from working culture to finances, curriculum to student and staff well-being.
You can find out more about the Mayor of London’s success stories via the London.Gov.UK website.