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£1 million Hub to transform digital skills opens

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  • News date: Jul '23
  • News author: Liam Waite

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A £1 MILLION Hub created to power up digital skills in Cumbria has been opened at Lakes College.

The Digital Accelerator Hub has been launched at Lakes College in partnership with Cumberland Council as part of the Workington Town Deal project and will be a community asset to deliver enhanced digital training and education.

Industry standard equipment and innovative technology will be combined with a curriculum designed to cater for a wide range of needs, from individuals keen to strengthen their digital skills to employers looking to upskill their workforce.

The Hub was opened with a showcase for employers and representatives from Cumberland Council, the Department for Education, the Town Deal Board, students, partners and governors, featuring demonstrations of some of the innovative technology available to access on campus.

Chris Nattress, principal at Lakes College, said: “This Town Deal £1 million investment in improving digital work and life skills across Cumbria will be genuinely life changing for so many people.

“The need for upgraded skills and knowledge in this sector has been identified as a growing challenge across the UK and we have worked with Cumberland Council to create this high-spec Hub to ensure top-class digital education and training is accessible in our county.

“We have developed a suite of courses designed to cater for everything from essential digital skills to higher-level qualifications and in-depth technical knowledge, and that will grow over time to ensure Cumbria can lead the way on digital innovation.”

Councillor Mark Fryer, leader of Cumberland Council, and John Coughlan, chair of Workington Town Deal Board, both spoke at the opening about the impact the Hub can have in making Cumbria a digital leader.

Coun Fryer said: “The Digital Accelerator Hub is the first Town Deal project to be completed in Cumberland.
“It is one of five projects to be delivered in Workington, which in total will provide £23.1 million investment to the area.

“Cumberland Council continues to support the Workington Town Deal Board to ensure that all schemes are a success.

“This £1 million project has been delivered in partnership with Lakes College and will support the development of a wide-ranging curriculum.

“Access to skills and training are a key component of a growing economy and the project is aimed at enhancing and developing higher level digital skills with residents, employees and employers with connections to Workington.

“I wish the Hub every success for the future.”

Dehenna Davison, minister for Levelling Up, added: “Helping people develop high-quality skills for the future is a key part of Levelling Up, and Cumbria’s Digital Accelerator Hub will play an important role in this.

“The Hub will be a major asset to the community, helping people to learn a range of high-level digital skills including in the cybersecurity sector.

“We are proud to have backed this project from Workington’s £23.1 million Town Deal and are delighted this is the first Town Deal project to open in