Education bosses have invited Prime Minister Gordon Brown to Worthing in a bid to salvage multi-million pound plans for two new colleges.

The principals of Worthing College and Northbrook College fear the £100 million-plus development schemes could be shelved due to a national cash crisis.

They travelled to the House of Commons to raise their concerns with Worthing MPs Peter Bottomley and Tim Loughton.

Now an invite is being sent to 10 Downing Street to “impress upon Gordon Brown the importance of the projects to the future of the town”.

The Learning and Skills Council (LSC), the Government agency responsible for sixth form and further education colleges, has frozen £350 million worth of schemes to reassess its spending plans.

Peter Corrigan, the principal of Worthing College, Bolsover Road, said work on the redevelopment of the site was due to start in September but that the whole project was now in limbo.

He said: “Our MPs were very concerned to hear about the current delays and have offered their full support.

“We were all concerned to ensure that these vitally important developments are able to progress as quickly as possible.

“The investment in educational buildings of over £100 million is desperately needed and long overdue.”

David Percival, the principal of Northbrook College, said: “The current situation is unacceptable as both colleges have had their case for redevelopment accepted by the LSC.

“This review must be resolved quickly and a solution found which allows the Worthing projects to be progressed as a major priority.”

Ian Lowrie, the chief executive of Worthing and Adur Councils, said: “We will do everything we can to support the colleges in getting the go-ahead to start work as soon as possible.”

Worthing College's new campus is expected to cost £42 million, with £33 million being paid by the LSC.

The balance would have been funded by the sale of neighbouring land at Bolsover Road for housing, and borrowing by the colleges.

Northbrook College wants to rebuild its Broadwater Road site at a cost of £69 million, of which £46 million would come from the LSC.

It had been hoped that the redevelopment of both colleges would have been completed by 2011.

Other Sussex colleges waiting to hear if they will get money include City College Brighton and Hove, Chichester College, Central Sussex College's Crawley campus, Varndean College in Brighton and BHASVIC in Hove.