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11 May 2009

Economy to benefit from 60 million of new higher education capital projects

A further 60 million of capital funding has been approved by HEFCE with some projects able to start as soon as this month.

This makes up the second round of a programme to accelerate capital spending for projects in universities and colleges that have the greatest impact on economic recovery. The programme was announced in December 2008, with the first round of projects approved in February.

David Lammy said:

'Following the success of the 97 projects that received funding in March, it is encouraging to see a series of new schemes that have been brought forward across the country to stimulate economic growth and benefit local economies.

'It is essential that we continue to support both universities and students during the downturn and the Government has been investing in higher education at record levels. We want to look to long-term solutions and, in addition to today's funding announcement, we have also announced extra funds for postgraduate places, internships and work placements for new graduates.'

In this round, 47 projects are being funded at 26 higher education institutions (HEIs) supported by 61.75 million of capital funding. These include:

  • over 14 million for projects at the Open University, for building science laboratories and refurbishing university buildings
  • over 3 million for a new Centre for Immunology and Infection at the University of York
  • 11 million to build a new Arts Academic building and to refurbish the library at the University of Sussex
  • nearly 8 million to build the Van Geest Research Centre and to extend the sports centre at Nottingham Trent University
  • over 3 million for a new heating system at Durham University
  • 15 million for the University of Oxford to build and improve book storage facilities and to construct a fourth floor at the Oxford Molecular Pathology Institute.

Steve Egan, Deputy Chief Executive of HEFCE, said:

'Through their quick responses to the two rounds of this programme, universities and colleges have demonstrated their determination to do their part in beating the recession. The capital projects, round the country, should make a real difference to local employment and the economy.'

In total over 200 million of capital funding will be brought forward through both rounds of the programme with 144 projects funded. With additional funding from HEIs' own sources, the total spending resulting from this programme comes to over 370 million.


1. The first 150 million of capital brought forward was announced in March for a range of university projects across England.

2. DIUS announced plans for a 'Graduate Talent Pool' on 28 April to match students with suitable internships.