AFTER months of set backs, cancellation and delays, the government has finally approved funding for the proposed college campus in Cinderford.

The college authorities will receive a £2.6 million investment to cover a shortfall in total funding of £14.8m to build a brand new further education college campus to replace the existing Five Acres site.

The current college site is nearing the end of its economic life and without this investment FE provision may not be possible in the Forest.

The current poor skills base in the area is a barrier to investment and Cinderford, where the new campus will be located, is one of the most deprived wards in Gloucestershire.

The Gloucestershire College Forest of Dean Campus will impact the Forest of Dean positively in terms of both local skills development and regeneration.

Matt Burgess, Principal of Gloucestershire College, said: “We were delighted to receive the news that our bid to build a new College in the Northern Quarter has been successful.  The funding from the LEP represents the last element of the finance required to enable this important project to happen.

“The new College would be the anchor tenant in the Northern Quarter regeneration scheme.

“It will provide a state of the art learning environment and secure the future of Further Education in the Forest of Dean.

"The college will help to raise aspirations and skills levels as well as providing valuable investment in the area.

“The scheme will also unlock the Five Acres site for potential development.”

The Forest of Dean District Council has already stated that the college is the keystone to the Northern Quarter arch and has completed the necessary legal work to hand the land to the college once it gets confirmation that the move will go ahead.