BLACKPOOL'S £188m college plans today lay in ruins.
The Government is stalling on coming up with the cash for Blackpool and The Fylde College's ambitious bid to build a further education campus on Rigby Road and nautical college in Fleetwood.
They were seen as beacons of the Fylde coast's education ambition when they were unveiled in 2008.
But it is now a year since land at Rigby Road – the site of the new further education campus – was cleared.
And so far the only thing that has built up on the old Mecca Bingo site is the grass among the broken bricks.
Peter Callow, leader of Blackpool Council, today launched a stinging attack after it was revealed the town's plans to build a state-of-the-art campus will not be considered for Government funding until next year – at the earliest.
He said: "I feel as though the young people of Blackpool have been bitterly failed by this Government.
"When we lost our (super) casino bid, Gordon Brown said he owed Blackpool, but the investment he promised is not forthcoming.
"It's about time this Government came up with the money."
The college's 188m plans to build a new further education campus on Rigby Road and a new nautical campus were among 144 projects to hit the rocks last March when the Government cash pot for such new schemes ran dry.
Mark Hayson, chief executive of funding body The Learning Skills Council (LSC) quit blaming "well publicised difficulties" with the 5bn national programme.
The LSC encouraged colleges to scale back their plans and are now working through a new criteria to prioritise the high amount of applications.
But with public sector funding being squeezed, hopes are fading for the Blackpool scheme.
Ed Balls secretary of state for children, schools and families, could not offer any reassurance for the future when visiting the resort last week admitting "far more people wanted (funding) than we have the money for".
FOR THE FULL STORY SEE TUESDAY'S GAZETTE.