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Skills hub set for April start

22 Mar 2021

A state-of-the-art Skills and Education Hub that will give Bassetlaw residents a better future and address skills shortages for the NHS and local businesses will start to take shape in just a few weeks’ time when building partners Lindum Group move onto the site.

The former Bridge Court building at the gateway to Worksop Town Centre will be transformed from a long-term neglected eyesore into a modern and contemporary learning facility as Bassetlaw District Council, along with its partners, enter the next phase of realising a shared vision.

The Worksop Access to Skills Hub will offer opportunities across a range of subjects including health and social care; digital and digital transformation; green technologies and low carbon and construction. It will create 50 jobs and support 300 learners.

Funding of £3.5million was confirmed by the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership as an allocation from their Getting Building Fund (GBF) on 15th February. In this time, the Council and its partners have wasted no time in putting plans into action.

Cllr Jo White, Cabinet Member for Regeneration at Bassetlaw District Council, said:

“This skills and education campus will give thousands of Bassetlaw people the opportunity to elevate their ambitions and improve their future prospects.

“This project is about delivering a step change for Bassetlaw, providing wider opportunities for local people and raising aspirations and ambitions. We have created and developed strong partnerships with skills and education providers and local partners, and we all have confidence that this will be a gateway for local people to gain excellent qualifications.

“Through the Bassetlaw Skills and Employment Board and Partnership, we have already identified the skills shortages for our area so that we can meet current and future employer needs across a diverse range of sectors.

“In addition to enhancing the further education provision already on offer in Bassetlaw, the WASH will create more jobs for local people, bring a derelict building back into use, add value to our town centre and support growth, bring more people into Worksop and give confidence to the many businesses that have been decimated by the Coronavirus pandemic.

“It has taken a lot of hard work from all of the partners involved to get the project to this point. It is very exciting to be moving to the next stage and seeing that hard work come to fruition.”

The RNN Group will be the main education provider, in conjunction with University of Derby, who will provide Access to Higher Education Courses and many of their learning resources.

Through the skills hub, the RNN Group will look to expand the current level of provision provided by their North Notts College campus and will offer Access to Higher Education Diplomas from Levels 4, 5 and 6.

Jason Austin, CEO and Principal from RNN Group said: “We are delighted to provide access to higher levels of education in Bassetlaw alongside our already established Further Education provision. This is a great opportunity for the local community to have more access to the skills and training support they need.”

Lindum contracts manager Mark Leason said work was due to begin on site on Monday, April 19th.

“The project will take about a year to finish and will involve a full internal rip out of the building and complete reroof. The first month will be mainly be demolition work and we will be installing scaffold along the entire façade of the building,” he said.

“The site is in the town’s centre and so we will be working in quite a tight environment. We will be managing deliveries carefully to ensure supplies arrive as we need them, rather than arriving in bulk and being stored on site.

“Once complete, the building will feature an impressive glass canopy and state of the art technology and will be a great asset to this part of town and the wider community.”

Funding for the project was approved by D2N2 from their allocation of the Government’s Getting Building Fund.

Sajeeda Rose, Chief Executive at D2N2 said: “We’re delighted to see progress on the transformation of this site. Our investment, through the Getting Building Fund, will provide opportunities for people in Worksop to gain skills and training, meeting new and emerging needs within the local economy.”