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National College for High Speed Rail

Question for Department for Transport

UIN 222670, tabled on 18 February 2019

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the costs to the public purse have been for establishing the National College for High Speed Rail at (a) Doncaster and (b) Birmingham; how many staff are employed at each of those locations; how much has been spent on (i) salary and (ii) expenses costs for those staff; and what the annual running costs have been at each of those locations in the last 12 months for which information is available.

Answered on

26 February 2019

Capital funding of £33.3m was provided by the Department for Business Innovation & Skills to Birmingham City Council as Accountable Body towards capital costs associated with the establishment of The National College for High Speed Rail. The monies were paid between financial years 15-16 and 17-18.

In addition to this, £6m contributions were payable by the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership and the Sheffield City Region Combined Authority (formally known as the Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham, and Sheffield Combined Authority). The land at each site was donated by Birmingham City Council and Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council.

The College received a working capital loan from the Department for Education of £8.3m to fund its start-up, £4,710k being paid in March 2017 and £3,590k in January 2018. It also received a loan of £2,770k from HS2 Ltd, paid in March 2017. Interest is applicable on the loans at standard treasury rates.

A revenue grant of £4.55m is payable by the Department for Education between January 2019 and July 2020. £2m was paid January 2019, £1.75m becomes payable in June 2019 and £0.8m will be paid in June 2020.


A total of 64 staff are employed at the National College for High Speed Rail, with 22 based in Doncaster and 42 in Birmingham.

Staffing costs per year:

Salary costs 2015/16 – £278k

Salary costs 2016/17 – £1,683k

Salary costs 2017/18 – £2,578k

Salary costs August 2018 to January 2019 - £1,390k

Expenses are included in the amounts above

Running/ premises costs

Annual running costs for the last 12 months where information is available – 12 months to July 2018: Total premises costs £874k of which Birmingham costs were £444k and Doncaster £430k.