BLACKBURN College has put a £6.5million contract with the Rwandan government, which planned to help the civil war-ravaged country’s economy back on its feet on hold.

The five-year contract, signed in late 2011, was due to provide business training to 5,000 entrepreneurs in three month courses to boost the African country’s fragile economy after the 1994 genocide which saw the murder of up to 1million people. But the deal has been put on hold.

Vice principal Lisa O’Loughlin said: “We are keeping in touch with them and the relationship is still there, but we have had to put that on hold for a little while because of the political situation in Rwanda.

“We have lots of funding opportunities in international countries, and this is the issue when working internationally. We saw it with the gulf and it’s one of the things we have to deal with. That’s why we have a number of managed resources and a number of projects on the go at any one time.”

Speaking at the time Ian Clinton said the deal was just one of a number of contracts the college has secured to see it go ‘global’.

He said the international contracts were vital to the future financial security of the college, which suffered huge government funding cuts of around £750k.

However, Mrs O’Loughlin said the agreement to provide training to staff for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, was progressing well. The college is helping teach short courses in hospitality and management courses.

The lecturers will go to Russia and teach the subject in English, and some of the course students will take part in exchange visits to Blackburn.

“We have had a number of groups of colleges that run commercial training and courses dealing with the Winter Olympics have been out to Blackburn and done training, and we are sending staff out there.”