South Kesteven’s new University Centre has taken a step forward now that work has started on the internal fit-out of the new teaching facility.
The University Centre will offer the opportunity for more people and businesses in South Kesteven to access higher education when it opens late in the spring.
Located above the Savoy Cinema in Grantham, the 9,000 sq ft building will include teaching areas, breakout space and seminar rooms and will be fitted out by Lindum Construction to provide an accessible learning environment.
The Greater Lincolnshire LEP has provided £2 million of funding towards the construction and fit-out costs via the Government’s Growth Fund.
Tailored to meet local business needs, the curriculum will include a range of short courses and diplomas delivered by the University of Lincoln. The first programme, Developing a Managerial Mindset, is fully subscribed and already being delivered at a nearby temporary venue.
Cllr Kelham Cooke, Leader of South Kesteven District Council and Chairman of InvestSK, said: “A skilled workforce is fundamental to any thriving economy. Growing businesses need quick access to the right skills at the right time. South Kesteven District Council is pleased to be nurturing the development of the district’s talent pool by establishing University Centre SK.”
Steve Bowyer, CEO at InvestSK, said: “Businesses keep telling us that access to skills is a top priority – both for local firms looking to grow and for companies considering moving to the district.
“We’ve been working in partnership with the University of Lincoln to develop a curriculum that meets the requirements of local companies and I’m delighted that the first management course is now under way.
“It’s important that we understand what skills are needed in the district, so I’d urge businesses who might be interested in enrolling their staff onto University Centre SK courses to get in touch so we can take their needs into account when developing future programmes.”
Julian Free, Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University of Lincoln, said: “The University of Lincoln is delighted to be working with South Kesteven District Council and InvestSK on this exciting project.
“The opportunity to work with the council and businesses to develop the right skills for the local economy is fundamental to the university’s mission and our commitment to be a truly civic university and to contribute to Lincolnshire’s future prosperity.
“The success of the Executive Development course we are currently delivering in Grantham demonstrates there is a demand for university-level courses in the area. We look forward to working with partners to build on this positive start.”
Ruth Carver, Chief Executive of the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “This project will be truly transformational for South Kesteven and its surrounding area, and we are very pleased that once completed the university centre will provide local businesses with the bespoke skills they require to enable growth and innovation.”
Minister for Local Growth, Rt Hon Jake Berry MP, said: “We are committed to boosting economic growth across the Midlands Engine and levelling up every place in the country.
“Thanks to £2 million of Government support from the Local Growth Fund, aspiring entrepreneurs in Grantham will have access to top of the range, locally-tailored training so that they can take their business to the next stage and unleash the full economic potential of the region.”