December 14, 2017
Burnham-On-Sea learning centre closure - 'Many courses will be saved'

Somerset Skills & Learning has said this week that it is making 'good progress' on moving some of its courses to other external venues before its learning centre in Burnham-On-Sea closes later this month. first reported last week that Burnham-On-Sea's adult learning centre is closing this month due to government funding cuts.

Kathryn Baker, Director of Curriculum at SS&L, told this week that they are finalising negotiations with Burnham-On-Sea Library and The Princess Theatre as locations to deliver their classes.

"We're delighted that these two venues have agreed to host our courses and we are now finalising plans to deliver our English classes in the Library and our Maths classes at the Princess Theatre," she said.

SS&L suffered a major government funding cut in the Autumn, which meant a significant restructure for the organisation, including centre closures and redundancies.

"We are currently in negotiations across all areas where we have had to close our own centres to work with external venues to continue to deliver our courses and apprenticeship training," she added.

"The Somerset Libraries have been particularly supportive and we are utilising several of their locations to run our classes and this is proving to be a great partnership," Kathryn explained.

She continued: "We have been overwhelmed with the support from local communities who have benefited from our training and education."

"We are doing our best to ensure we can continue to provide them with opportunities to gain qualifications in maths, English, Childcare, Support Teaching, Health & Social Care and computing and digital skills."

SS&L continues to operate out of their own centres in Bridgwater, Wells, Wellington, Yeovil and Frome with external venues in Burnham-On-Sea, Ilminster, Chard, Minehead and Taunton currently being finalised.

Burnham and Highbridge Town Clerk Tatiana Cant told "The Town Council is disappointed that the reduction in funding for SS&L has meant that it will no longer be possible to run some courses at this particular centre."

"We’re pleased to be able to help by offering some space at our Princess Theatre and Arts Centre. The newly refurbished facilities in the Town Council offices in the Old Courthouse, Jaycroft Road are also available for delivering courses."


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