The long-running debacle over the Learning and Skills Council grants to tertiary colleges – the Building Colleges for the Future programme – has left over 150 educational establishments short of fuding for their planned projects nationally as the LSC announces that just 13 colleges will receive funding from them.
The schemes selected are all outside West London, and leave those in the sub-region hoping for LSC funding – like Harrow College (pictured) with a gap in their plans. They may be able to get funds from a future round, but this will not be possible until after the next review in 2011/12.
This will make it hard for the Council to realise their vision for Harrow Town Centre – their plans had involved acquiring the old Harrow College campus, probably for a new Civic Centre.
Councillor David Ashton, leader of Harrow Council, told the Harrow Observer: “This decision leaves our plans to kick start the regeneration of our town centre left back to square one. It lets down the young people and the whole community of Harrow.”
“The new civic centre [earmarked for the current site of the college’s Harrow on the Hill campus] would have provided a key anchor for a better town centre and could have created a 21st century civic campus with the police and Primary Care Trust.”
“The Learning and Skills Council have completely wasted £10.6m of Harrow College’s money, and put us as a council to considerable expense on abortive plans and discussions over the last two years.”
“What is the point of having a confirmed grant programme, leading participants to spend substantial sums, when the rug is pulled so late in the day?”
See a fuller story on the colleges that were successful in winning an LSC grant from the Architects’ Journal.