Sheffield adult learning centre in desperate appeal for funding to avoid closure

An adult training centre which provides vital education services for people in Sheffield could be forced to close its doors due to a lack of funding.

Monday, 19th March 2018, 7:58 am
Updated Monday, 19th March 2018, 11:50 am
Manor Training and Resource Centre, Prince of Wales Road, Sheffield. Picture: Google.

Manor Training and Resource Centre, on Prince of Wales Road, provides adult learning to around 100 people but needs around £150,000 to run for another year after missing out on government funding.

Nicky Jowitt, development worker at the centre, said it provided a range of courses from basic literacy, English and mathematics through to GCSE-level teaching.

"We get people who can't even read or write it's really bad to be honest," she said.

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"But we are now on a 'wind-down' contract which will end in July and if we don't get any funding before then we will close."

The centre, which first opened 31 years ago, and Miss Jowitt said its funding had been cut over the last four years.

"Last year the Government brought in a new procurement process and we had to tender for our contract again," she said.

"We put our tendering bid in and they score you on a point system out of 500 and we scored 405 points but we were still turned down funding."

Miss Jowitt said the centre had 60 people waiting to start courses in April but would be able to provide them with teaching, unless it can find extra cash.

"The Government has said that nobody can go back in for funding until next February so we have now got a 12-month period where we have got to try and find some money to fill the gap," she said.

"We are talking about people who desperately want to learn and need help to learn. They are people who don't have the confidence to attend another provider - some of our learners probably won't leave the Manor, let alone want to go to a big college."

The centre has drawn-up petition calling for the Government to have a 're-think' on its decision to cut funding.

The Department for Education did not respond to a request for a comment.