Funding doubt over Oaklands College's new St Albans building

A NEW state-of-the-art building proposed for Oaklands College could be in danger of being scrapped if a funding shambles is not sorted out. This week it was revealed that the Government s Learning and Skills Council (LSC) had over-extended itself in makin

A NEW state-of-the-art building proposed for Oaklands College could be in danger of being scrapped if a funding shambles is not sorted out.

This week it was revealed that the Government's Learning and Skills Council (LSC) had over-extended itself in making promises for too many further education (FE) redevelopment projects round the country.

Sandy Walkington, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary candidate for St Albans, said the news that there was a real threat to the Government share of funding for the �120 million new Oaklands College would be a bitter blow to people in the district.

He added: "Some FE colleges have already had their hopes dashed even after they have committed many millions in development pre-planning. In the case of Oaklands College, the Smallford project seems to be in a black hole limbo.

"If ever there is a time to promote and encourage the FE sector with its emphasis on practical training and reskilling it must be now. But it all becomes academic if the LSC reneges on its promise of �45 million towards the cost."

Mark Dawe, principal of Oaklands College, is due to meet 200 other FE college heads on Monday to discuss ways of putting pressure on the Government to honour its promises.