Sir Paul McCartney has blasted government incompetence and a catalogue of errors that has seen a city institution miss out on £16m.
The Beatles legend has been left furious after the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (LIPA) that he co-founded was left facing an uncertain future after what he called an ‘injustice’. SOURCE LIVERPOOLECHO
An investigation is now underway by the Parliamentary Ombudsman, looking at how the Office for Students (then the HEFCE) disqualified LIPA from a funding process which the institution believes was ‘botched’ and riddled with errors.
“LIPA is my passion and part of my legacy. It would not be fair to allow injustice to affect its future.”I sincerely hope the Government will correct this error and help us to continue our work successfully into the future.”
Responsible for the distribution of funding for higher education to universities, HEFCE failed LIPA at the first stage of the process in 2016. Despite being allowed to proceed to the next stage of the funding process – following a subsequent successful appeal – LIPA discovered all the fund had already been allocated.
LIPA, founded 24 years ago, says the ‘series of errors’, made in 2016, has cost the institute some £16 million in potential funding and a further £160,000 for the initial steps of a judicial review.
Following the adverse second stage decision, HEFCE wrongly advised LIPA that the decision-making process could not be challenged, so LIPA’s only option was to embark upon a Judicial Review process.
Sir Paul McCartney and Mark Featherstone-Witty (right) co-founded LIPA and now fear for its future
The Judicial Review gave LIPA access to key evidence, which revealed HEFCE’s ‘repeatedly flawed’ decision-making process. Its process has since also been deemed unfair and unprofessional by a number of independent bodies, including three Liverpool universities.
HEFCE’s decision-making process is now under review by the Parliamentary Ombudsman.
LIPA’s Lead Patron, Sir Paul McCartney, said: “I helped to bring LIPA into life during very difficult times for Liverpool. It is now a highly respected institution all over the world.