Cambridge University has emerged as the biggest winner in a £1.4 billion capital funding handout announced this week by the Higher Education Funding Council for England.
The allocations will help institutions pay for the costs of constructing new or revamping old buildings and for equipment for teaching and research between 2006 and 2008. Sir Howard Newby, Hefce's chief executive, described the grant as "the most substantial capital funding announcement in recent years".
Institutions' share of the money has been based on a formula that considers teaching and widening participation resources, and quality-related and external research income. But with nearly two thirds of the cash earmarked for research capital projects, the research big hitters have gained the most.
A research capital allocation of more than £68 million has put Cambridge at the top of the table with a total grant of more than £77.5 million. Just behind it is University College London.
The sector's new giant, Manchester University, has the fifth-largest total allocation. Its teaching capital grant of nearly £12.9 million is the second largest, though it is dwarfed by the Open University's £22.8 million.
Among new universities, Manchester Metropolitan University has the biggest total allocation, £14.8 million, thanks in large part a £12.2 million teaching capital grant.
Seven institutions got nothing for research capital. They are: Newman College of Higher Education; Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication; Rose Bruford College; Birmingham College of Food, Tourism and Creative Studies; the Arts Institute Bournemouth; Central School of Speech and Drama; and the Conservatoire for Dance and Drama.
Hefce said the grants would be released to individual institutions once they had submitted proposals showing how they intended to use the money.
Institutions will have to cover at least 10 per cent of the total costs of their learning and teaching and research programmes, although this will be waived for collaborative projects.
Institutions receiving the five biggest total grants from Hefce capital allocations for 2006-08
1 Cambridge University ......... £77,588,676
2 University College London .... £77,130,554
3 Oxford University ............ £75,947,930
4 Imperial College London ...... £71,179,344
5 Manchester University ........ £62,162,081