Project 62

Empty college

Area Review concluded this GFE college should remain “stand alone” and embrace the principles of “fresh start”. Against the backdrop of a very significant debt burden and fragile cash position, a financial restructure was secured, but the really hard work was still to come.


  • Condition of funding was engagement of a Turnaround Director
  • Compliance with Conditions Subsequent was critical (many of them, and some complex)
  • Substantial (albeit significantly reduced) debt burden remained
  • Newly formed management team needed to embed
  • Financial stakeholders remained on high alert


  • Building stakeholder confidence with Bank, PMO (previously the TU) and ESFA
  • Substantial cost reduction plans to be effected
  • Enhancement of budget setting
  • Complex estate rationalisation strategy to execute
  • Newly formed executive management team needing time to embed
  • Urgent quality issues to be addressed

How we helped

  • Lead on stakeholder management with Bank, PMO and ESFA
  • Lead on covenant waiver / re-set discussions
  • Driving governance and compliance with stakeholder conditions subsequent
  • Over-sight of execution of cost reduction plans
  • Contributing to final budget setting and constructive challenge of assumptions
  • Supporting on major staff restructuring program
  • Providing guidance and support to governing body throughout
  • Guidance at key committees (eg finance and general purposes, and audit and risk)
  • Aiding recruitment of senior personnel
  • Key role in supporting and driving major estate rationalisation strategy
  • Supporting newly formed executive management team on all aspects of the turnaround
  • Independent voice through ensuring appropriate balance between short and long term tension

Results and benefits

  • Fully engaged and supportive financial stakeholders
  • Stakeholders really buying in to the challenges faced
  • “On tap” experience of dealing with funders in distressed scenarios
  • Management and Board received clear advice, guidance and support throughout
  • Leaner more efficient business model
  • Clear focus in robust underlying assumptions, and scenario analysis
  • Progress with estate strategy
  • Quality significantly enhanced
  • Clear strategic priorities delivered by a coherent Board

@the_ift @LendingStdBrd Plenty of practical and constructive tips, highlighting the importance of engaging the rig…