Published:
December 7, 2017
Burnham-On-Sea learning centre to close this month amid cash cuts

Burnham-On-Sea's Somerset Skills and Learning Centre is to close down later this month as a result of a "massive funding cut" from central government.

The centre, in Princess Street, will shut for the final time before Christmas, the organisation confirmed to Burnham-On-Sea.com this week.

However, it is trying to keep a large number of its courses running by holding them in other venues in the town.

Somerset Skills & Learning has been left £1 million short of funding after the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) made huge cuts in the autumn. The provider at first faced a 97-per-cent cut in September. However, following lobbying by MPs including Burnham-On-Sea's James Heappey, the ESFA scaled back its cuts, and SS&L was given 75 per cent of its funding.

Vera Ixer, head of marketing and communications at SS&L, told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "We have had to streamline the business across Somerset following our recent massive funding cuts – we are making redundancies and are having to close some premises, including Burnham."

She added: "We won’t fully stop delivering all our training in Burnham. We hope to run some courses from external venues and are talking to various facilities about this."

"Unfortunately, some of our community learning, and leisure and interest courses in Burnham will be finishing due to the financial cutbacks."

"Most of our adult learning, training for apprentices, childcare and social care courses will continue to run where possible."

She also confirmed there are local redundancies as part of the cost cutting.

"The funding cuts have led to a restructuring of the organisation and we have tried to retain people where possible."

She says the centre is likely to close on or around December 19th, dependent on setting up offices elsewhere and moving equipment.

SS&L, formerly known as Somerset Skills and Learning, was given just £111,000 by the government to last from this November until July next year. Typically, it receives about £3m for the period.

 


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