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Liverpool City Region Combined Authority has launched an £18m fund to enable local colleges and learning providers to improve their facilities.

This is the third Liverpool City Region skills capital investment prospectus, with more than £30 million already invested in 40 schemes across the city region.

Of the £18m available, it is expected that £8m will be invested in new sites and premises, up to £2m in learning and skills equipment, and £3.5m in improvements to existing learning facilities.

The £18m funding comes from the Local Growth Fund.  Local Growth Funding is awarded to the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and invested through the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority’s Strategic Investment Fund.

Colleges in the Liverpool City Region will also benefit from up to £3.5m of dedicated funding for maintenance of their campuses and up to £1m for investments in low carbon technologies. Low carbon investments will decrease colleges’ carbon footprint and reduce energy costs over time with savings re-invested for the benefit of learners.

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said: “Our skills capital investments into local colleges and providers have allowed them to improve their facilities. This investment gives them the right environment and tools to deliver the technical and vocational training our employers and learners in the city region need to compete in the 21st century economy. I look forward to supporting further skills capital investments that provide new learning and apprenticeship opportunities for local residents.”

Mayor Joe Anderson OBE, Liverpool City Region Portfolio Holder Education, Employment and Skills said: “Today’s launch of a further £18m of skills capital investment will deliver the learning facilities our learners and job seekers need to gain the technical skills our local employers are looking for, so they can compete for high quality jobs across the Liverpool City Region.”

Minister for the Northern Powerhouse and Local Growth, Jake Berry MP said:

“We’re committed to boosting economic growth across the whole of the Northern Powerhouse and building a Britain fit for our shared future. 

I’m delighted to see a further £18m from the Local Growth Fund invested in skills capital projects in Liverpool City Region. This funding has already enabled significant improvements across the Region’s colleges, for everything from maintenance of the new buildings at Hugh Baird College to investments in low carbon technologies at Wirral Metropolitan College. Together we are truly equipping our young people for the opportunities the future has to offer”.

Chair of the Liverpool City Region LEP, Asif Hamid MBE said: “I am extremely pleased to see Local Growth Funding being allocated to our City Region Colleges and learning providers. This investment will enable them to enhance and develop their facilities ensuring our future workforce is equipped with the necessary talents and training for the jobs of today and tomorrow.”

The first Skills Capital Prospectus operated from February 2015 to March 2017 with £19.3m invested in over 30 Skills Capital projects, including eleven major refurbishment and new build projects. The Combined Authority committed a further £11.9 million for nine projects from the second Skills Capital prospectus launched in December 2016.

Previous investments have included:

  • supporting Hugh Baird College to convert a former church into a new health engagement and training hub in Bootle;
  • Wirral Metropolitan College’s low carbon infrastructure to improve energy efficiency through Combined Heat and Power plants and battery storage technologies;
  • The Greenbank Project’s refurbishment in Sefton Park for learners with learning difficulties and disabilities;
  • North West Training Council’s new advanced manufacturing training centre for apprentices;
  • St Helens Chamber’s Clickworks supporting digital pre-employment training;
  • Riverside College’s Idea Centre which focuses on the skills required for the automation and digital aspects of manufacturing.
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