Further education on Skye is to be expanded thanks to a £590,000 grant which will allow work to get underway on a new building for the Portree campus of West Highland College UHI.
Finance Secretary, John Swinney made the announcement today in a speech to the Institute of Directors Highland and Islands members in Fort William.
The money, from the European Regional Development Fund, will be used to build a substantial new college building in Portree and make improvements to the current facilities to give students and staff the best possible learning environment.
Finance Secretary John Swinney said: “This investment will allow West Highland College UHI to go ahead with its ambitious expansion plans at Portree and the benefits of this will be felt through the wider area.
“Jobs will be created during the construction process putting more money into the local economy and the new and upgraded buildings will give the community greater access to the quality further and higher education that it needs to help people achieve their ambitions.
“With courses in construction and tourism, the expanded college will also provide local businesses with the skilled workforce that they require for success.”
Lydia Rohmer, Principal and Chief Executive commented: “We are delighted to receive this much needed support.
“Thanks to leadership and support from the Scottish Government, we are planning to create a significantly enhanced centre for further and higher education and enterprise in Portree on Skye, which will provide for over 300 learners, with an additional 60 full-time places from September 2013.
“The centre will contribute support to key local economic sectors in tourism and hospitality, construction, creative industries, and health and care services as well as business and IT - helping individuals in the West Highlands to get a job, get a better job and hopefully to get a career.”