Eight FE colleges in the region received lower cost finance for capital projects under a deal between Barclays Corporate and European Investment Bank.
The Barclays Corporate EIB Loan Support for Education programme offered up-front sweeteners to cover costs at the outset of capital projects. The £1m aid package from the EIB sits alongside £60m of Barclays loans that will in turn assist in funding £200m of capital projects in the region.
The scheme aims to help reduce the cost of borrowing for institutions undertaking capital investment projects, ranging from refurbishments to campus expansion or redevelopment. The loans taken out by the colleges ranged from £4m to £16m with a term of three years or more. Customers eligible for the loan support benefit from a single up-front payment of between £72,000 and £266,000 which can be used to reduce the cost of borrowing or for re-investment in the institution.
The colleges that benefited include Bolton Community College, awarded £266,000, Liverpool Community College, £266,000, South Cheshire College, £190,000, Trafford College, £156,000, Warrington Collegiate, £87,000, Carmel College, £87,000, Accrington & Rossendale College, £72,000, and St Mary's College, Blackburn, also £72,000.
Paul Levet, relationship director for the education team at Barclays Corporate, said: "Barclays Corporate has an unrivalled, long standing relationship with the Further Education Sector and we already lend £608m across 170 Further Education Colleges in the UK."
Sir Bill Moorcroft, principal of Trafford College, commented: "We took advantage of Barclays 'EIB Loan Support for Education' scheme and utilised the funds to improve facilities for our learners. We benefited from a payment of almost £152,000 which has significantly helped towards paying off the setup costs and repayment of the loan. The loan terms enabled us to borrow enough to build a modern, hi-tech campus which significantly enhances the learning experience of our students."
Barclays Corporate said it has a relationship with nearly 40% of the Further Education colleges in the UK.