Work to modernise and upgrade Uxbridge College has now begun. The College is building on its capital investment of over £38m in the last decade by making further improvements to its campuses in Park Road, Uxbridge, and Coldharbour Lane, Hayes.

Thanks to its healthy financial position, the College has now begun additional work on the estate.

A spending freeze by the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) nationally has meant Uxbridge College was one of many which did not get the funding expected for building projects. A revised plan is therefore now going ahead.

The first stage of the modernisation scheme, worth £1.5m, has already started and is due to be completed at the end of August 2009. This includes:

* Creating additional facilities in Computing, Engineering and Creative Studies at Uxbridge Campus

* Creating additional facilities in English Language Teaching, and Early Years at Hayes campus

This will be achieved through work including repositioning partition walls to optimise use of space, refitting and refurbishing the new spaces, installing new electrics, and upgrading heating and air conditioning provision.

The next phase of the redevelopment, which was approved by Uxbridge College's Board of Governors on 14 July, will cost around £5m and is expected to start in January 2010. This includes:

* A new sports hall at Uxbridge Campus
* A Multi-Use Games Area (MUGA) at Uxbridge Campus
* Creation of additional facilities for Hair and Beauty at Hayes Campus
* Creation of additional facilities for Catering and Hospitality at Hayes Campus

Subject to funding, Uxbridge College hopes additional work will be able to take place from 2011.

Laraine Smith, Principal of Uxbridge College, said: "Since Uxbridge College has already invested more than £38m in the last decade or so, much of our estate is already in good or excellent condition.

"In the light of the LSC's funding freeze, some of the desirable extras may be put on hold, but there is no doubt we can and will ensure Uxbridge College continues to remain fit for purpose for many years to come.

"We intend to ensure that we will continue to provide high quality learning environments for all our learners by the completion of our modernisation of the Uxbridge and Hayes campuses.

"We have looked at what needs doing most and set our priorities on that basis. Fortunately Uxbridge College has healthy financial reserves so we are able to start work immediately on the most important areas."

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