Plans for college campus postponed

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: An artist’s impression of the plans An artist’s impression of the plans

Bradford College’s plans for a new campus have been put on ice for at least two years.

Bids made by higher education institutions around the country, submitted under the Building Colleges for the Future programme, have been reviewed by the Learning and Skills Council (LSC).

The national body has been forced to prioritise which colleges are in most urgent need of a share of available money – and Bradford is not one of them.

In total, 180 colleges applied for £5.7 billion more funding than the LSC’s budget and decisions were frozen in March. Today the LSC announced that only 13 bids have been granted funding before a review in 2011/12.

Bradford’s plans involve building a campus on the site of its Westbrook and Randall Well buildings and Alexandra car park, off Great Horton Road. It would cover an area of 37,500 square metres and the College had hoped to complete the project in 2012.

It has already spent more than £2 million on the project but may be eligible for contingency funds.

David Brack, head of marketing and communications at the College, said: “Obviously Bradford College is disappointed that it isn’t one of the 13 projects to have been given the go ahead today. However, the College didn’t expect to be included in this round of funding as our project is not ‘shovel ready’.

“We are realistic and are looking forward to working with the LSC on the way forward. If we are asked to scale down our plans and look at other ways of attracting capital then we would be happy to do that – as long as our learners and Bradford as a whole get the investment they deserve.

“The redevelopment of Bradford College is integral to the regeneration of Bradford and the LSC are well aware of this.”

Councillor Adrian Naylor, Bradford Council’s executive member for regeneration, said: “What I want to make show is that there was no political pressure to bring forward projects at colleges lower down the list because they have already started demolition.”

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