£20 million boost for higher education in the East of England

Published: 20 November 2006 at 11:14

Anglia Ruskin University has been given a £20 million grant to help improve skills across the East of England and increase the region’s provision for higher education by up to 4,000 student places.

The funding, which has been agreed in principle by the board of the East of England Development Agency (EEDA) and the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), will see the construction of two new buildings for Anglia Ruskin University at Harlow College and Peterborough Regional College.

The new facilities will see the two campuses working closely with local industry. The colleges’ expertise and skills will then be transferred directly into business activities, helping grow the regional economy.

“EEDA is very proud to have been a leading force in driving forward this innovative project,”

said Alison Lys, head of skills at EEDA.

“We have successfully helped bring together a number of partners to turn what was once a dream into a reality.

 “This is a major step forward for the region in terms of developing a region-wide skills base that can support a world-class economy,” added Alison. “Not only will these two new centres increase participation in higher education in the region, but also they will provide essential links with businesses that will help improve workforce productivity and business development.”

By 2012 the number of students studying at the each of campuses will look to increase from 900 to over 3,000.

Professor David Tidmarsh, Vice-Chancellor of Anglia Ruskin University, said:

“We are delighted to have reached outline agreement on the funding of the new facilities.  This is a major step towards the creation of self-sustaining university centres, which will help to widen higher education participation and underpin the economic growth and change planned within the region.

“We look forward to the challenge of meeting the targets we’ve set and are very grateful to EEDA for the support they have given to the project so far.”