Learning and Skills Council spends £17m to support ailing National Construction College’s Bircham Newton site

The Learning and Skills Council (LSC) has thrown a lifeline to the National Construction College’s flagship Bircham Newton training centre after it pledged to provide £17m in capital funding to keep the facility afloat.

The decision follows months of uncertainty after the failure of the National Construction College to raise £8.5m to update the college through the development of 250 homes in the area.

The National Construction College applied for funding from the LSC earlier this year using the National Academy for Skills in Construction model.

But the LSC’s decision to provide capital funding will be dependent on the National Construction College’s ability to raise matched funding of £4.3m. The college is planning to make the money through a smaller development of just 24 homes on the Bircham Newton site.

Skills minister David Lammy welcomed the move and stressed the importance of training in construction.

“We are amid the busiest building programme in the UK since the war so I am extremely please that we have been able to confirm this support for a college that makes such a vital contribution to the construction industry,” he said.

David Boyden, National Construction College director, said: “This is the news that we’ve been hoping for. It means we can continue to deliver specialist construction training to an industry that we have served for 40 years.”

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