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Further Education: Finance

Volume 487: debated on Thursday 5 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what estimate he has made of the interest payments made by further education colleges to finance their capital programmes in the latest year for which figures are available. (254014)

Since 1997, this Government have invested £2.4 billion in redeveloping and modernising further education colleges. In addition we have plans to invest a further £2.3 billion in the next three years. In total, since the programme began, nearly 700 projects, at 330 colleges have been agreed.

The Learning and Skills Council is responsible for the administration of the further education capital budget. However, as independent providers, colleges themselves are responsible for the management and financing of their capital projects. As a result, the Department does not collect information relating to the level of interest payments made by colleges regarding the financing of their capital programmes.

However, the Department is aware of the important role finance can play for colleges and is being kept informed by the LSC and sector representatives about the cost and availability of finance for the sector.