£16 million for adult and community learning centres

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More than 20 communities in some of England’s most deprived areas will benefit from new or improved learning centres thanks to £16 million of new funding from the Learning and Skills Council (LSC). The money has been made available from the Council’s 2002-03 Adult and Community Learning Capital Fund for centres that need improvements to offer better adult and community learning.

Based on their learner numbers, Local Education Authorities (LEAs) have been given a proportion of £6 million to undertake minor improvement works such as refurbishment and equipment purchases. A further £10 million has been allocated for major capital projects via a challenge fund.

Projects selected include: the creation of new buildings, crèches, ICT centres and libraries; extensions to existing buildings; facilities for disabled access; and health and safety equipment including fire alarm systems, CCTV and double glazing.

John Harwood, Chief Executive of the Learning and Skills Council, said: "The Adult and Community Capital Fund creates an excellent link between learning and social regeneration. Obviously, learning can improve an individual’s prospects but it also promotes active citizenship and helps to strengthen families and neighbourhoods. Some of the areas benefitting from our fund have little or no adult and community learning facilities. These deprived areas will now have access to dedicated learning provision and disadvantaged communities will have support to develop and sustain adult learning projects. Ultimately, we want to give people who do not normally participate in education and training the chance to build better futures for themselves and their families. I believe initiatives like this help to do just that."

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