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College forced to repay food funds

Sep 22 2004

Birmingham Post


A Shropshire college is being forced to repay grants totalling more than 300,000 after an investigation revealed "irregularities" over the funding of food hygiene training.

The Learning and Skills Council (LSC) is demanding Shrews-bury College of Arts and Technology repay the money which was given for training which was never provided.

The move comes after a Channel 4 documentary on Monday night alleged a departmental head at the college was involved in a scheme to defraud the Government over training certificates.

The programme - The Dirty Meat Scandal - showed a member of staff giving advice on how to exaggerate claims for funding and how to get round meat hygiene regulations.

Allegations were made that in 1996-7 some food-handling qualifications had been issued fraudulently from the Shrewsbury college.

A spokesman for the LSC said: "After a detailed investigation into funding irregularities relating to training in 1996/97, the Learning and Skills Council found that there was sufficient evidence to claw back around 321,000 of funding from Shrewsbury College, previously paid for the delivery of food hygiene training in the meat industry.

"Shropshire Learning and Skills Council is in discussions with the college to arrange repayment of the funds."

Staff who were said to be involved with the alleged scandal no longer work at the college.