HEREFORDSHIRE Council has passed on the final payment of the £15m grant funding to help set up Hereford’s future university.

Andrew Lovegrove, the council’s chief financial officer, said New Model Institute for Technology and Engineering had met the Department for Education’s milestones for the project.

Speaking at last week’s audit and governance meeting, he said there had been some ‘interesting challenges along the way’.

“It’s important to note that the period of the council being the accountable body has now come to an end,” Mr Lovegrove said.

“The council has passed on the £15m worth of grants from the Department for Education.

“That has been done in a number of stage payments and the council has confirmed to the Department for Education where milestones were met to enable that payments to be made.

“There was a slight delay in the release of the last payment to NMITE because the DfE changed their payment process on April 1 and had a few teething problems.

“But as the paper states, that arrived with us on the morning of April 15 and we passed it on straight away.

“That now concludes the distribution of the £15m worth of grants.

“The role of accountable body is to do a number of things. To report to the DfE progress against the milestones and also to make sure the money is being spent in accordance with the DFE wishes.

“As we have previously reported, there have been some interesting challenges along the way during that period.

“And that is to reflect NMITE started from in effect, no paid employees in January 2018 to the state that it is now.”