Rural colleges receive £1m
May 21, 2010 No Comments
Scotland’s rural colleges will benefit from an extra £1m, the Scottish Funding Council announced today.
18 rural colleges across the country will receive a share of the money to tackle the impact of recession in their areas.
The support for the 2010/11 academic year has been targeted at these institutions to help them assist small businesses and provide additional places to meet surging demand from young unemployed people. It is also designed to support the work-focussed training element of the UK Government’s Youth Guarantee scheme.
North Highland College will receive the largest share with £92,724 with Inverness College and Dumfries and Galloway College each receiving the second largest amounts of £70,076.
Announcing the allocation Chief Executive of SFC Mark Batho said: “We are pleased to be able to provide this funding. It gives additional support to rural colleges and will help them address the effects of the economic downturn in the communities they serve by increasing their capacity to meet current demand for training and learning opportunities”.
This follows an allocation of £12m targeted support for colleges last year in response to the downturn, in which no rural colleges received extra cash.
Having campaigned for fairer treatment for rural colleges last year, the Conservatives welcomed the move. Liz Smith MSP, Conservative Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Education & Lifelong Learning, said: “This additional funding is very welcome, especially as my colleague Murdo Fraser spoke out last year at the unfair way rural colleges felt they had been treated in the initial funding allocation for 2010-11.
“Despite the severe challenges resulting from Labour's debt legacy, the college sector in Scotland must be ready to take on the challenge of additional demand for further education. Much is already being done, through partnership with other agencies, to ensure a better-trained workforce for the future.
“The extra £1million goes some way to supporting our rural colleges and it is essential the situation they found themselves in is not repeated. They do not deserve to lose out again in the next round of funding.”