Nelson secures £2m digital skills academy funding

By Tim Aldred

05 Dec 2022

Nelson Digital Skills Academy

The government has approved a £2.29m investment proposal which will see a new digital skills academy opened in Nelson.

The finance is part of the Nelson Town Deal and the project has been developed in conjunction with the Nelson and Colne College Group.

The project aims to tackle Lancashire’s digital skills shortfall by improving people’s employability chances.

Upskilling and retraining opportunities will be offered at a range of levels from beginners to more advanced, with higher level courses designed to meet the specific digital skills demands of regional employers. 

The hub element in Nelson town centre will also include a business space to facilitate interaction between learners and employers and a specific workspace for start-up businesses.

Coun Nadeem Ahmed, leader of Pendle Borough Council, said: “This huge funding pot for the Digital Skills Academy represents a big step forward towards future-proofing our town.

“Helping to push approval for the new Academy over the line is the county-wide digital skills gap that has grown at a time when demand among employers for digitally-skilled employees has never been higher.”

David Rothwell, interim principal of Nelson and Colne College Group, said: “This project demonstrates the strength of partnerships forged through the Nelson Town Deal and of our shared commitment to upskilling our communities and retaining talent.

“The funding will be used to create a college hub for the project by refurbishing parts of the existing college building to create over 100 new teaching spaces with access to state-of-the-art equipment.

“This redevelopment will create a new learning environment to support the delivery of our digital T-Level courses, alongside our wider digital curriculum.

“And it will provide access to facilities for all learners wanting to improve their digital skills, including 200 high-spec PCs to be housed within the Academy itself.”

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