Ambitious plans to create a new technical college in Preston have hit a major stumbling block.Advertisement
The University of Central Lancashire and Preston City Council had submitted a joint bid for the Preston Guild University Technical College.
But the £10 million bid to the Department of Education has been knocked back.
The academy would take in learners aged 14 to 19 who wanted to gain qualifications in civil engineering, construction, architecture and design.
It was hoped the UTC would use the currently empty Guild House on the corner of Cross Street and Winckley Square.
The Department of Education has refused to award the funding saying it did not include the backing of a larger well known local employer to support the proposals.
A UCLan spokesman said: “Both the University and Preston City Council have been strong, vocal supporters of making education accessible for all and the UTC movement certainly comes under this remit. For this reason we are disappointed that our proposals for the Preston Guild University Technical College (UTC) have not been approved by the Department of Education.
“In terms of feedback we were told our bid had strong, enthusiastic support from the region’s SME community. However, we lacked a larger well known employer to support our proposal. We are still committed to being a key partner in a UCT for Preston, continue to explore the available options and may choose to resubmit a bid at the next call, which we anticipate will be after next year’s General Election.”
Leader of Preston City Council Peter Rankin said: “Naturally we are disappointed that the Preston UTC bid was unsuccessful. It was always going to be a tough and competitive process but we did receive really positive feedback about the bid.
“It has been a valuable experience and if, after the General Election in 2015, there is another UTC bidding round, then the partners will discuss whether to make a further bid for a UTC in Preston.”
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