Low interest loans boost for university upgrades

SFC chair Mike Cantlay; University of Strathclyde VP professor Scott MacGregor; Richard Lochhead MSP; and University of Strathclyde Students’ Association president Matt Crilly

SCOTTISH universities are being offered low interest loans for capital upgrades and projects.

The Scottish Government has allocated £60 million towards the Scottish Funding Council’s (SFC) 2019-20 Financial Transactions programme, aimed at ‘spend-to-save’ projects including energy efficiency, strategic development of university campuses, and strategic collaboration between institutions.

Higher education minister Richard Lochhead made the announcement during a visit to the University of Strathclyde to see the progress being made on its new learning and teaching building, due to open next year.

The facility will incorporate the University’s former Colville and Architecture buildings at North Portland Street and Rottenrow, bringing together new learning and teaching spaces, student support services and the University of Strathclyde Students’ Association in one purpose-designed building.

The university was awarded a £10 million loan from the Financial Transactions programme to support the £60 million development. The university also received £8 million towards its £20 million combined heat-and-power district energy network, completed last year.

 Richard Lochhead said, “The University of Strathclyde’s Learning and Teaching building is just one example of the many projects made possible with funding from the Financial Transactions programme. I am impressed that the project is already having a positive impact on students at the university, with engineering students receiving mentoring on-site.”

Balfour Beatty was appointed to deliver the new learning and teaching building through the university’s major building construction framework.

Hector MacAulay, Balfour Beatty’s regional MD for Scotland and Ireland added, “We are delighted the Scottish Government has provided funding through the Scottish Funding Council’s Transactions Programme, which will enable us to refurbish and extend the University’s Grade II listed Architecture building and neighbouring Colville building.

“We look forward to completing the learning and teaching hub while providing an exciting and inspiring environment for the 23,000 students based on the central Glasgow campus.”