Further and higher education
Further education - Key achievements over last five years
In 2017, the Scottish Government approved the final design stage of Forth Valley College's new Falkirk campus with a total cost of £78 million. The Scottish Government investment in the project was £65 million of capital funding. The Falkirk Campus opened its doors to students for the first time in January 2020.
City of Glasgow College completed a new £228 million twin-site super campus. The Riverside campus was completed in autumn 2015 and the Cathedral Street campus was completed in summer 2016. The super campus is designed to serve up to 40,000 students and 1,200 staff a year.
Progress in 2020-21
The Scottish Funding Council (SFC) published its College Estate Condition Survey in 2017 and has since considered where new approaches may represent better value for money than continuing to address backlog repairs alone. Scottish Government provided £26.9 million to fund very high priority estate maintenance issues in 2018-19, funding was provided in 2019-20 to continue to address lifecycle and backlog repairs and 2020-21 budget allocated £32.7 million for capital estate priorities.
The college sector was allocated an additional £6.5 million during 2020-21. This investment provided an opportunity to make an additional supportive contribution to the maintenance of college estates. Funding was used by colleges to support a range of capital projects which may have been put on hold as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the initial lockdown.
A Learning Estates Strategy was published in September 2019, which included a set of guiding principles. Building on this publication, the SFC is currently preparing a medium term estate strategy for the college sector, which is being informed by SFC's Review of Coherent Provision and Sustainability. The strategy will help set priorities for investment, improve the student experience and support better outcomes as well as set out how the college estate will contribute to efforts to tackle climate change.
Activity going forward
Fife College and Fife Council are developing a joint Dunfermline Learning Campus. The aim is to locate the new College building and two of Dunfermline's high schools on the same site. Fife College purchased the land for the new college site in October 2018 for £4.56 million. Funding has been earmarked in 2021-22 to continue with the £90 million project, which aims to be complete by 2024.
Higher education - Key achievements over last five years
Supported by Financial Transactions programme and maintenance grants, a considerable contribution to university carbon reduction was made with all universities implementing their estate carbon reduction strategies as an integral part of overall estate strategies. Projects delivered included Edinburgh solar array, Aberdeen and Strathclyde's Combined Heat and Power (CHP) systems, connecting to local District Heating Network (DHN). All universities have undertaken major investments in upgrading of spaces for learning such as Strathclyde Learning & Teaching Centre, Glasgow's Boyd Orr building and Stirling Campus Central projects.
Progress in 2020-21
Total capital funding for infrastructure at universities in 2020-21 including Financial Transactions (but excluding core research activity funding which was switched from resource to capital as part of a realignment of budgets exercise) was over £96 million. The investment into research infrastructure of £16.8 million, which was part of this, was further boosted by match funding from BEIS (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy). The Scottish Government will further build on this in 2021-22 with the Scottish Budget setting out further investment of over £63 million.
The university sector was allocated an additional £3.5 million during 2020-21, which provided an opportunity to make additional supportive contributions to maintenance of university estates. Funding was used to support a range of infrastructure projects, which may have been put on hold as a result of COVID-19 and initial lockdown.
The Universities Financial Transactions Programme (UFTP) has run from 2017 to 2022, delivering a wide range of significant projects on Scotland's university estates.
- 2017-18 - £16 million loan funding to 11 universities for 15 projects;
- 2018-19 - £40 million loan funding to 7 universities for 10 projects;
- 2019-20 - £60 million loan funding (£55 million plus £5 million repayments) to 9 universities for 17 projects; and
- 2020-21 - £62.5 million (£55 million plus £7.5 million repayments) loan funding to 8 universities.
The Scottish Funding Council's 2020-21 Financial Transactions (FT) programme disbursed a total of £60 million to support 17 projects at 8 universities. These included carbon reduction, new build and refurbishment projects that will reduce carbon footprint by over 875 tCO2 a year. FT programmes have made a considerable contribution to reducing the university sector carbon footprint, totalling approximately 12,000 tCO2 annually over 4 programmes. Programmes have also improved student experience by supporting major investments in the upgrading of university spaces for learning, and have addressed a range of priority issues of backlog maintenance.
Activity going forward
In 2021-22, UFTP funding reduced to £22.1 million, which with expected repayments of £12 million will provide a £34 million programme (loans will be exclusively targeted at climate emergency / carbon emissions reduction projects).
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