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01/09/13 10:30

Work to start on Glasgow ‘super campus’

New college will house tens of thousands of students.

Construction is underway on the biggest college in Scotland, Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed today.

The £228 million investment in the City of Glasgow College super campus development will cover two city centre sites with 1,200 staff serving 40,000 students. It comes on top of the Government’s commitment to maintain college funding at £522m in this year and next, and of colleges success in continuing to deliver the Government’s pledge on student numbers.

The College was created following the successful merger in September 2010 of Glasgow's Nautical, Central and Metropolitan colleges.

The College has used the Scottish Futures Trust’s Non Profit Distributing (NPD) financing model, and is expected to create 170 new jobs during construction, a minimum of 40 modern apprenticeships, and a host of work experience opportunities.

NPD ensures that private sector returns are capped, that there is no dividend bearing equity, and any surplus is directed in favour of the public sector.

Other major projects in the £2.5 billion NPD pipeline currently in procurement include Kilmarnock College, M8, M73 and M74 improvements and the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh. Construction work has already begun on Inverness College and community health buildings in Aberdeen, Forres, Tain and Woodside.

Ms Sturgeon said:

“The City of Glasgow College will offer an excellent learning environment for thousands of students and play a crucial role in the expansion of industry and employability focussed research, and college and higher education in the city.

“The £228 million investment is vital for Scotland's economy, demonstrating our commitment to invest in infrastructure despite Westminster cuts. It also comes hot on the heels of the £50 million construction of Inverness College announced in May.

“Meanwhile, we have increased college budgets by £61 million over the next two years, providing an unprecedented funding ‘floor’ of £522 million. College leaders have welcomed, by the sector in allowing them to complete the process of reform. And those reforms are substantially improving students’ chances of securing jobs, as well as helping colleges play their vital part in delivering Opportunities for All, our unique guarantee of a place in education or training for all 16 to 19 year olds.

“Both Glasgow and Inverness colleges will be delivered through the NPD model which, unlike Private Finance Initiative (PFI) schemes, caps returns to the private sector.

"Investment in schools, hospitals, roads and other infrastructure is set to top £3.4 billion in 2013-14, supporting more than 40,000 jobs across the Scottish economy.”

Paul Little, City of Glasgow College Principal & CEO said:

“This is a significant announcement on our pioneering journey to provide a world class college which will serve Glasgow, Scotland and beyond. We are pleased to be on schedule to deliver two student focussed, state of the art campuses within budget.

“The two campuses will provide an amazing learning environment for the students of today and tomorrow, future proofed for generations to come, and are a major boost to the city and Scotland and ultimately will enhance our reputation as a leading educational institution in the world.

“Soon the Glasgow skyline will be transformed as our stunning new facilities start to go up. Three summers from now Glasgow will have its powerhouse of skills at the heart of the City Centre and two years from now part of the Clyde will be regenerated, such is our commitment to the maritime and engineering industries.

“This has been a complex but very successful partnership between City of Glasgow College, Scottish Government, Scottish Funding Council, Glasgow Learning Quarter, Scottish Futures Trust and funders. I am grateful to everyone who has played a part into turning our inspiring vision into such an exciting reality.”

Laurence Howells, Interim Chief Executive of the Scottish Funding Council said:

“The centre of Glasgow will be transformed with the College’s new campuses on Cathedral Street and on the Clyde where over 40,000 students each year will study and gain qualifications that will change their lives.

“Whether it’s nautical studies or engineering, catering or journalism, or any of hundreds of other courses, students will want to study here, will be enthused by their courses, and will launch themselves on to successful careers.

“This is an amazing project and I am delighted that the Funding Council has been a key player in making these new buildings at the heart of Glasgow a reality. This is a project that the Funding Council is proud to be part of.”

Jonathan Taylor, European Investment Bank Vice President responsible for lending in the UK and Ireland said:

“The European Investment Bank recognises the importance of investing in vocational training to improve employment opportunities for young people in Scotland and across Europe.

“The significant support provided to the City of Glasgow College by Europe’s long-term lending institution reflects our commitment to education and follows recent lending for transforming higher education facilities in both Glasgow and Edinburgh.

“The European Investment Bank is committed to facilitating long-term capital investment in Scotland’s infrastructure.”

Barry White, Chief Executive of the Scottish Futures Trust (SFT), said:

“Yet again we have reached financial close on a massive construction project in record time.

“This £228 investment represents the single largest estates investment in the college sector in Scotland. SFT’s innovative Non-Profit Distributing programme allows this major investment in wonderful high quality college buildings in the heart of Glasgow to be built now, rather than having to wait for traditional capital to become available.

“This is a good deal for taxpayers and a great boost to local employment and training.”

Notes to editors

For further information about the new City of Glasgow College, please contact Raymond Robertson at Halogen Communications on 0131 202 0120

Up to £193 million of the project’s construction costs will be funded by the Scottish Government. The Scottish Funding Council will be providing £16 million and the College contributing a further £19 million.