Rosie Cooper MP

Working hard for the people of West Lancashire

26/10/10 Ministerial meeting on Skelmersdale College funding sho

West Lancashire MP Rosie continued the fight to get the £4 million funding shortfall reinstated on the new Skelmersdale and Ormskirk College building at a meeting with Further Education Minister, John Hayes MP on Thursday 21st October 2010.
Initially the £4 million had been committed to the project by the North West Development Agency but no contract had been signed.  The funding was lost when the Coalition Government abolished Regional Development Agencies.
Rosie was joined at the meeting by Newcastle College Chief Executive, Dame Jackie Fisher and Skelmersdale and Ormskirk College Principal, Louise Dawson to highlight the impact of the funding shortfall on the new building project.
The meeting followed a commitment secured by MP Rosie from the Prime Minister after raising the funding shortfall at Prime Ministers Question time on 15th September 2010 asking for the Coalition Government to review the college’s situation.
MP Rosie Cooper said:
“I welcomed the opportunity to meet with the Minister to discuss the serious challenges this funding shortfall poses to the new Skelmersdale and Ormskirk College building.  The contracts have been let, building work is well advanced, the furniture is made and students are due to start in September 2011. This is a position the college, in good faith, now find themselves in without enough money to pay for the project! We have fought too hard and too long to secure the initial funding for the project to allow this to go wrong now.”
“It was a very positive meeting with the Minister, who was willing to listen to the arguments put by myself and the college.  He gave us a commitment to look at this funding situation in-depth and to explore any possible options.”
Rosie took the opportunity to highlight the vital role the new college will play in offering the young people of West Lancashire a hand-up as they strive to achieve their ambitions and aspirations and to reinforce that the college is at the heart of Skelmersdale’s regeneration.

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