Somerset

Funding blow for Bath College's digital skills centre

Artist's impression Image copyright Bath College
Image caption The proposed centre is set to replace an existing car park and plant room near St James's Parade

A college says it will carry on trying to fund a £9m digital skills centre despite a blow to its funding.

The West of England Combined Authority (Weca) withdrew support for Bath College's project due to spiralling costs and delays.

It turned down a request for £300,000, which took costs of the Digital and Creative Innovation Centre to £701,000.

The college said it hoped to secure further funding from another government pot.

A report to a Weca committee said the additional money was to address "identified cost pressures" in progressing the project, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

Members agreed with officers' recommendation to decline the request on 20 March.

'Short-term setback'

"Given the costs of this project stage and the project overall have increased, and with the Local Growth Fund being fully committed and time-limited, there is no identified funding source to meet the expected £9.1m capital costs of implementation.

"Therefore, it is proposed this request is not supported and that funding of this project ceases," the report said.

Bath College principal Laurel Penrose said the college would work with Weca and the local authority to access other government funding.

She added: "It is... a disappointment that this short-term setback has occurred. However, the college remains undaunted and remains convinced that this is the best solution for our learners and employers."

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