AN £18m fund has been launched for colleges to improve their facilities by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority.

The 'skills capital' fund is the third of its kind and has previously benefitted the likes of Wirral Metropolitan College's low carbon infrastructure.

It is expected that £8m will be invested into new sites and premises in Merseyside, £2m will go towards learning and skills equipment plus £3.5m for improvements to existing learning facilities.

Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram said: “Our skills capital investments into local colleges and providers have allowed them to improve their facilities.

"This investment gives them the right environment and tools to deliver the technical and vocational training our employers and learners in the city region need to compete in the 21st century economy.

"I look forward to supporting further skills capital investments that provide new learning and apprenticeship opportunities for local residents.”

Colleges in the Liverpool City Region will also benefit from up to £3.5m of dedicated funding for maintenance of their campuses and up to £1m for investments in low carbon technologies.

The low carbon investments will decrease carbon footprints and reduce energy costs over time with savings set for re-investment.

Minister for the Northern Powerhouse and Local Growth, Jake Berry said: “We’re committed to boosting economic growth across the whole of the Northern Powerhouse and building a Britain fit for our shared future.

"I’m delighted to see a further £18m from the Local Growth Fund invested in skills capital projects in Liverpool City Region.

"This funding has already enabled significant improvements across the Region’s colleges, for everything from maintenance of the new buildings at Hugh Baird College to investments in low carbon technologies at Wirral Metropolitan College. Together we are truly equipping our young people for the opportunities the future has to offer."