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Hadlow College and East Kent College

Hadlow College and East Kent College

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Funding boost for two Kent FE colleges

Hadlow College and East Kent College

Hadlow College and East Kent College

Each of the bids to the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SE LEP) Skills Capital Fund demonstrated a strong focus on helping to reduce the skills shortage, support growth industries and provide the best possible facilities for the South East’s young people to access vocational skills and training.

Hadlow Group has secured £9,800,000 from SE LEP’s Skills Capital Fund to deliver Phase 1 of Ashford College by creating 5,112m2 of floorspace as the first stage of the new campus in the heart of the town. It will remove existing poor quality facilities, replacing them with an improved learning environment to support more than 900 additional learners.

The bid by East Kent College’s secured £1,186,750 of funding to support plans to provide new training facilities for the local engineering, logistics and service industries at its Dover campus.

Geoff Miles, Chairman of Kent & Medway Economic Partnership, said: “The successful bids clearly show that the area’s further education colleges have been listening to local businesses and are determined to play a vital part in strengthening the skills of our young people, and supporting the local economy.”

SE LEP Chairman Peter Jones said: “Improving skills is a key priority for us and our partners. I’m delighted to see colleges are focusing on the skills needs of business and their communities.
“In the case of Ashford it will support manufacturing, construction and service industries, and Dover will see a renewed focus on delivering skills for local engineering, logistics and service companies.
“Each of the successful Kent bids should be celebrated as they will have a direct impact on not only the lives of the individual students but also the long-term success of the East Kent economy.”

The new Ashford College campus on Elwick Road will focus on providing skills for the manufacturing, construction and service sectors, linked with a strengthened role for employers.

Commenting on the two successful Kent bids, Cllr Paul Carter, Leader of Kent County Council said: “This is massively good news for both Ashford and Dover. Twenty-first century facilities are badly needed in these areas and will strengthen the FE provision in East Kent, giving young people more choice and career opportunities in the future.”

Skills development is a key element of the SE LEP strategy for growth, which will see 200,000 new jobs created by 2021, and 100,000 additional homes built across East Sussex, Essex, Kent, Medway, Southend and Thurrock.

Working closely with the Skills Funding Agency, SE LEP will make the £18m available to be invested over the next two years. A further £4m will be invested in equipment for colleges and training providers through a separate bidding process.

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