The National Construction College (NCC) in Bircham Newton, Norfolk, may have been handed a lifeline after the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) reacted positively to proposals that would allow specialist training to remain at the centre.

Proposals put forward by the NCC would open up a funding route using a national skills academy model.

The plans would see highly specialist training, particularly on heavy plant or tower cranes, remain at the centre. Other training, including light plant, scaffolding and roofing, would be delivered at a regional or local level.

These regional locations could be at smaller NCC facilities, or on large construction sites. Under the skills academy model, the NCC would act as the regional centre for the East, with smaller sites used in other regions.

The NCC is now talking to the LSC about funding to establish further regional centres, the priority being east London.

David Boyden, director of the NCC, said: “Plans for London regional facilities providing specialist skills close to the Thames Gateway are being finalised and we are confident that early local LSC funding will be forthcoming for specialist training in this area.”