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.
But the pace of demand for capital funding has increased. Projects and the scale of Government funding that they require are becoming increasingly ambitious. In addition there are signs that the ability of colleges to raise their own funds for proposed projects is being affected by the downturn.
It is for this reason that over the last few weeks the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) has been working closely with colleges that have submitted or are working on bids, to look at the individual current positions before making further funding decisions. As a result of this the consideration of a small number of applications that were due for decision—both in principle and in detail—has been deferred from December to March.
As your question relates to an operational matter for the LSC. Mark Haysom will write to my hon. Friend with the further information requested. A copy of his letter will be placed in the Libraries.