KIRKLEES College has spent £3.5m planning a new campus which may never be built.
The college wants to move from New North Road to a new £70m base at Chapel Hill.
But the plan was thrown into doubt last month when the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) – which funds further education in England – announced it had run out of money.
Kirklees College revealed it had spent £3.5m over the last three years developing the Chapel Hill plan.
Principal Chris Sadler said: “We have taken a prudent approach to expenditure and have only committed the level of funds necessary to develop our proposals to this stage.
“To date we have spent £3.5m over a three-year period. The expenditure has covered the costs of consultants, designers, architects, planners, lawyers and secondment of staff. No actual demolition or construction has happened.
“The costs have been fully discussed with the LSC and we have pursued a new build in Huddersfield on their advice and encouragement.”
Mr Sadler added that the college should not end up out of pocket. He said: “The LSC made it clear that any colleges incurring costs which could lead to financial difficulties will be supported. We are reassured by this commitment.”
Last September the college won planning permission to build a new campus on a triangle of land between Manchester Road, Chapel Hill and the River Colne.
The £70m campus is the centrepiece of the £175m Waterfront Quarter plan, which also includes three blocks of flats and four offices buildings, which would create 2,000 new jobs.
But building projects at 144 colleges in England were halted in March when the LSC ran out of money. Seventy-nine colleges had already started work, requiring funding of £2.7bn.
A further 65 colleges, including Kirklees, had submitted proposals needing a further £3bn in funding.
However, Mr Sadler is optimistic the new campus on Chapel Hill will go ahead. He said: “We will continue to lobby hard to ensure our case is well understood.
“We remain very positive and have received significant support from local politicians.”
Huddersfield Labour MP Barry Sheerman is hopeful the new campus will be built.
He said: “There’s no doubt there’s been a great setback but we’re working hard behind the scenes so the plan can go ahead.”
“This is a fantastic opportunity for the college and the town.”.