£20k grant is key to centre’s future

Front, middle, Judi Briggs, adult learning support officer and members of Shotton IT Resource Centre celebrate receiving a �20,000 grant from Lloyds TSB
Front, middle, Judi Briggs, adult learning support officer and members of Shotton IT Resource Centre celebrate receiving a �20,000 grant from Lloyds TSB

AN IT centre which has provided invaluable training skills to hundreds of people over the past decade has secured £20,000 in grant funding.

The future looks bright for Shotton IT Resource Centre following a successful bid for funding from the Lloyds TSB Foundation for England and Wales.

It means the work of the centre, which helps them become skilled and gain valuable job prospects, is secure for the next two years, despite the current economic climate.

The centre, in Friar Street, Shotton Colliery, provides a base where people can easily access the latest technology to meet their formal and informal learning needs.

The centre, which is managed by Jim Currie, was set up 11 years ago by regeneration charity Shotton Partnership 2000 and has welcomed more than 1,200 adult learners aged 18 to 83, as well as 600 young people.

The centre has become an essential training facility for the local community and surrounding area, with learners travelling from as far as Hartlepool in the south, Spennymoor in the west and Sunderland in the north.

Partnership chairman Rona Hardy said: “Raising funds for our projects has always been a major concern and a top priority for the band of volunteers which runs the centre.

“It has always been difficult, but in today’s current climate with more and more groups trying to access ever-decreasing funding pots it is proving to be an even bigger challenge.

“After Lloyds TSB Foundation for England and Wales scrutinised our project, staff were convinced their money would be well spent and would fulfil a training need in our village.

“The partnership would like to thank them for allowing us to continue the good work it does for a further two years.”

The centre runs more than 250 City & Guilds qualifications in literacy and numeracy, as well as more than 400 IT1/IT2 European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL) modules.

The centre also runs a host of other courses, including touch-typing, digital photography, basic sign language, basic IT, help with CVs and online job searches three times a week.