Page last updated at 12:05 GMT, Wednesday, 28 January 2009

College plans decision put back

A decision over plans to re-site a Midlands college has been put back.

Proposals to move Stoke-on-Trent Sixth Form College in Fenton to Leek Road form part of the area's 287m University Quarter project.

The Learning and Skills Council (LSC) said a decision over the planned move to Leek Road would be made in March.

An academy replacing St Peter's and Berry Hill schools has been planned for the site currently occupied by the college.

There is still a government commitment to improve education buildings in the West Midlands
Learning and Skills Council

A spokesperson for Staffordshire University said: "We are fairly positive that the Learning and Skills Council's decision will be a positive one and the physical construction of the University Quarter project will not be delayed."

The University Quarter initiative would bring some education institutions closer together near to a railway station and the university's Stoke-on-Trent campus, she added.

An LSC spokesperson said: "There are early signs that the ability of colleges to raise their own funds for proposed projects is being affected by the downturn.

"As a result of this the consideration of a small number of applications has been deferred from December to March."

The controversial plans to merge eight Stoke-on-Trent high schools into five academies were approved by the city council.

The council said it "fully supports" the sixth form college's proposals and "the plan is an important part of the transformation of education in the city".



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