AYRSHIRE College has told auditors that it will find it ‘difficult’ to keep up yearly payments of £2.2 million for a campus it inherited from James Watt College. 

The college is the only one in Scotland which makes PFI payments.
The college confirmed that it required to make savings of £2m per year to make the payments. 

A spokesperson also acknowledged that it had been given ‘one-off’ permission to sell land to fund the PFI payment in 2018-19, but nothing is in place for future years. 

The college has also seen one of the largest falls in part time student numbers in Scotland.

In a report on the current state of Scotland’s colleges, Audit Scotland stated that Ayrshire College had expected to have a financial surplus between 2013-14 and 2017-18 but was one of five to be operating at a deficit.

Minister in March 2018 acknowledged that Ayrshire College is faced with a ‘unique position in the sector in carrying such a financial burden’ and confirmed that the college could retain the sale proceeds of the former Kilmarnock campus building to offset the annual PFI charges for the Kilwinning campus for 2018-19. 

“While the college welcomed this decision, it is a one year only settlement for 2018-19 with no recurring annual support. We will need to identify savings of around £2m each year.”