Saturday, May 21, 2022

£2.6m Loughborough Town Deal investment confirmed to build Digital Skills Hub

A hub to help equip local people with digital skills for the future has received a £2.6 million boost from Loughborough Town Deal.

The Town Deal has confirmed the funding to create the Digital Skills Hub at Loughborough College which will also work with employers to deliver a greater breadth of work placement opportunities.

It is one of 11 projects Loughborough Town Deal is backing after securing £16.9 million of Government funding. In total, the projects are worth over £40 million of investment for the town.

The Town Deal Board is co-chaired by Cllr Jonathan Morgan, leader of Charnwood Borough Council, and Dr Nik Kotecha OBE, chairman of Loughborough-based Morningside Pharmaceuticals.

Cllr Morgan said: “I am delighted that we can now confirm Town Deal funding for the Digital Skills Hub at Loughborough College.

“We are living and working in an ever-increasing digital world and therefore the demand for a facility like this has never been higher. The skills hub will help not only people but also local businesses as we continue to emerge from the impact of the pandemic and build a stronger local economy.”

Dr Nik Kotecha said: “We want the Town Deal to have a real legacy and this will certainly be one aspect of that. Thousands of local people will be trained at the Digital Skills Hub and forge their careers and futures with the skills they will learn there.

“I am really pleased the Town Deal can invest in Loughborough College which is a wonderful asset for the town and borough.”

Jo Maher, principal and CEO of Loughborough College, said: “This is fantastic news and we’re extremely grateful to the Town Deal for investing in our digital vision.

“The funding means we can create more cutting-edge facilities on campus which enhance the digital capability of learners and our community so that we can better meet the needs of local and regional employers.

“In addition, the Skills Hub perfectly complements our new T-Level Centre and proposed Institute of Technology on campus, helping us create a state-of-the-art learning environment in the heart of the community.”

The Town Deal grant will support the construction of the new Digital Skills Hub building on the College campus next to a new T Level Centre off Epinal Way. Construction work is due to start at the end of 2022.

The Digital Skills Hub will aim to support the delivery of T Levels, apprenticeships, industry placements and higher technical qualifications to skill-up local people as Loughborough moves into a more digitally-focussed future.

It will also:

  • target unemployed and semi-skilled adults to support them into employment
  • equip the next generation with the skills and knowledge to improve social mobility, human capital and economic success
  • provide support to businesses post-COVID-19
  • reduce the need for local people to travel to access skills, therefore, contributing to the college’s commitment to clean growth and carbon reductions in Loughborough.
  • create an accessible and modern facility to welcome the community and local businesses, training on digital jobs for the future.

Loughborough Town Deal is backing projects to boost skills, improve the town centre, reduce flooding, regenerate the riverside, develop a creative hub and support two key attractions – Great Central Railway and the bell foundry.

So far, Loughborough Town Deal has invested £750,000 to create a Careers and Enterprise Hub in Loughborough town centre; £1.7 million to support the Bedford Square Gateway Project which is regenerating part of the town centre and £835,000 to help save Taylor’s Bell Foundry, the last major bell foundry in the UK.

Combined with the Digital Skills hub project, that brings Town Deal investment in Loughborough so far to around £5.8 million.

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