HC Deb 23 January 1951 vol 483 c15W
Mr. Peter Freeman

asked the Minister of Education whether the final plans for the erection of the joint technical educational college for Newport and Monmouthshire have been approved; what site has been selected; when the building will commence; how long it will take to complete; what is the estimated cost; what proportion is to be borne by each of the authorities concerned; how much by the Government; and what is the constitution of the governing body.

Mr. Tomlinson

The present state of the proposal for a joint advanced technical college for Newport and Monmouthshire is as follows. Discussions on the proposal have been going on for nearly two years, and both authorities have expressed agreement with my view that their needs should be met by a single college. A site for the college has been agreed at Allt-yr-Yn in Newport. At present, the two authorities cannot agree about their proportionate representation on the governing body. In the meantime, progress is held up, and I have recently written to both authorities; pointing out the serious consequences to industry of further delay, and expressing my belief that, with good will, agreement on this point, which must precede any start on the detailed planning of the college, could shortly be reached.

No plans have yet been drawn, and accurate estimates of cost are, therefore, not available, but I estimate that the cost will not be less than £¼ million. The precise proportion of the cost to be borne by each authority will have to be settled by agreement between them, but each authority's expenditure will be grant aided by me at the normal rate of grant then prevailing for expenditure of this kind. If the present difficulties are resolved quickly, and others are not encountered, I hope that the building will begin in 1953, but I have no idea how long it will take to complete. I regard the proposal as of great importance, and I hope that it will not be needlessly delayed.