West Nottinghamshire College has received a £10 million bail out says report

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Cash strapped West Notts College has been bailed out by the Government by a total of £10 million in just six months, a report claims.

An FE Week report into the college’s recently published 2017/18 accounts has uncovered the total in the college’s financial plan which showed the need for an additional £4.7 million support in the period February to March 2019.

This is on top of an application for up to £4.675 million of exceptional financial support (EFS) from the Education Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) in October 2018 covering the period November 2018 to January 2019.

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The college was also served with a financial health notice to improve in September after being forced to seek a £2,1 million loan from the ESFA to cover a “short-term cashflow” problem over the summer.

It came after changes to the way apprenticeships were funded.

The college has lost almost 200 jobs following a major restructure over the last year.

A college spokesperson said it is “presently assessing staff redundancies for the next academic year”, but could not say how many jobs were at risk.

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Long-serving college principal and chief executive Dame Asha Khemka stepped down from her £262,000 per year role at the start of October, before the college, was placed in administered status after a report revealed a “serious corporate failure”.

Martin Sim was appointed interim principal and chief executive, who said his main priority was to “ensure the college remains a vital asset to the communities of Mansfield and Ashfield”.

FE Week revealed West Nottinghamshire College’s land and buildings have been offered up as security to its bank so that it can continue accessing a credit facility.

Since requesting the financial support, the college has launched an independent business review (IBR) with chartered accountants BDO, which “will enable the college and its funders to agree the strategic direction of the college and a robust financial base moving forward”.

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The review will form the college’s basis of negotiation with its lenders for financial support post March 31, 2019, according to the accounts.

A spokesman for West Notts College said: “The college has confidence in its plans to right its finances and, as such, the security over buildings should not be an issue for us.”

He added; The IBR is standard practice for colleges in situations such as this, and has been agreed as part of negotiations with the bank and ESFA. It will provide assurance on the college’s future planning and income streams.”

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