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A partnership consortium of the Oldham MBC, Oldham College, the Sixth Form College and Oldham Chamber is celebratin...
A partnership consortium of the Oldham MBC, Oldham College, the Sixth Form College and Oldham Chamber is celebrating a cash boost of£750,000 to support the development of the borough's new Business Management School.

The partnership, which also includes the University of Salford, has received confirmation from the government that its bid for funding through the invest to save budget round two initiative run by the Cabinet Office has been successful.

Oldham's submission was among 103 nationally to have succeeded and is only one of 51 local authority-led bids to have secured funding. The Oldham bid sum is also the single biggest to be awarded to a north west local authority partnership.

The chairman of the new Business Management School, David Jones, welcomed the government's decision as 'a tremendous boost for everyone involved in this very exciting aspect of higher education development in Oldham.

'As the physical work on the new school has just started, the government's announcement could not have been timed better and we are delighted by the decision particularly as there was such stiff competition from all over the country for this type of funding,' said Mr Jones.

The money will be awarded over a three-year period to 2002/03 and most of it will be used to fund modern information technology facilities at the new business school. It will also be used to fund a high profile marketing campaign to attract a wide range of students. The award is on top of£1m secured from Europe as well as the significant grant support provided by the council and its partners.

Mr Jones said work on the new£3.5m building in Oldham town centre is expected to be completed this autumn, with students filing through the doors by October.

'By winning this funding we have been able to show the government how the new business school has multi-agency involvement, is innovative as well as financially viable. It will support local young people who want to benefit from higher education and businesses who want to improve their competitiveness by raising the skills of their managerial and technical staff,' he said.

The new business management school will offer a programme of sub degree, degree and post graduate courses in business, management and information technology to full time and part time students. It will also offer national vocational qualifications to NVQ levels 4 and 5 and relevant management and professional qualifications in business, personnel management, finance and accounting, marketing, languages and information technology and computer science.

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