Funding windfall for college
STUDENTS in Stowmarket are set to benefit from an unexpected £800,000 funding boost.West Suffolk College has been granted a budget of £9.2 million for 2002/03, compared to £8.
By James Fraser
STUDENTS in Stowmarket are set to benefit from an unexpected £800,000 funding boost.
West Suffolk College has been granted a budget of £9.2 million for 2002/03, compared to £8.4 million this year, by the Learning and Skills Council (LSC), along with a £1.2 million budget for work-based learning.
The money will go towards providing more courses for young adults – many of which are run from the West Suffolk College's Stowmarket centre at Stephen's House in Station Road West.
This makes West Suffolk College the largest receiver of LSC funds in Suffolk, and the biggest provider of further education in the county.
College principal Nick Foster told the Star: "The College's bid for an additional £400,000 of LSC funding in 2002/03 to support growth in 16 to 19 and adult course provision was originally
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welcomed by Suffolk LSC back in February.
"Since then, there has been some doubt about whether the projected growth in adult students would be fully funded. Nationally, funds for 16 to 19 growth were being prioritised, and this might have meant clawing back adult growth funds from local LSCs.
"However, we have now had confirmation that not only our original growth for adults will be supported, but an additional £110,000 will be made available for basic skills and 19-plus provision.'
Funding has been awarded to colleges that attract more students than originally planned, particularly those in key groups such as 16 to 18 year olds and adults with basic skills needs. Where colleges exceed their targets by up to 5 per cent, they should receive extra funding.
"In Suffolk this year, we were the only college to achieve our targets. Our widespread provision has grown year on year since 1993 and we now have over 20,000 students taking our programmes throughout west Suffolk and the Thetford area of Norfolk. We hope to be providing even more
learning opportunities to employers and the community from September."