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Further details of £50m colleges capital fund released

The coalition has invited colleges to bid for their share of the £50 million it announced last month to develop their estates.

Former chief secretary to the Treasury David Laws pledged the cash for colleges when announcing £6.2 billion of capital cuts at the end of May.

Now the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has set out details of how the money will be distributed to institutions.

About 150 colleges that did not benefit from the shambolic Building Colleges for the Future programme will receive £225,000 each from the £30m Renewal Grant.

Successful colleges will then have the chance to add to this by bidding for a slice of the £20m Enhanced Renewal Grant.

The most a college can receive is £1m, and colleges will be expected to attract additional private finance.

Skills minister John Hayes said: “We want to make sure as many colleges as possible can benefit from this additional funding. The £50 million we are investing in colleges will make a real difference to college campuses throughout England.”

BCF delivery body the LSC ran out of cash last year having funded just eight of 79 BCF projects it had approved in principle.

A further 14 were rescued after the previous government handed it £300m emergency funding in the 2009 Budget and promised a further £300m would be available for each of the three financial years 2011/12, 2012/13 and 2013/14.

In February 2010, the LSC agreed to pay £34m to 41 colleges in a move it said drew a line under the fiasco.

It offered the money to those colleges it felt were at risk of financial difficulties due to developing capital project bids that were not funded.