Adult learners in Halton will benefit from improved facilities and equipment at Kingsway Learning Centre thanks to £750,000 in funding from Liverpool City Region Combined Authority.

 Halton Borough Council’s Employment, Learning and Skills division was successful in securing Skills Capital Funding from the city region – £500,000 for improvements to accommodation and £250,000 for digital equipment at the centre in Widnes.

 The work at Kingsway Learning Centre will include creating a dedicated reception area for adult learning, with waiting space and a private area. There will also be a learner break-out area, with ipads, vending machines and comfortable seating, allowing learners to interact with each other outside class and somewhere to sit and study should they wish to. A new lift, lighting and flooring will be installed along with some accessibility improvements.

 New equipment will include interactive screens to display key messages, timetables and news on forthcoming courses, touch screens for all classrooms and a range of virtual reality kits, drones and mini bots for use in digital courses.

 Skills Capital Funding is available to bid for in order to provide new sites and premises, learning and skills equipment, improvements to existing facilities, maintenance and investments in low carbon technologies. This latest announcement sees investment of more than £16 million in skills education at colleges, local authorities and learning providers across the Liverpool City Region.

The funding builds on £30 million already invested in buildings, facilities and equipment for skills training – much of this in Halton.

Cllr Eddie Jones, Halton Borough Council’s portfolio holder for employment, learning and skills, welcomed news of the funding.

 “The investment from Liverpool City Region demonstrates our joint commitment to improving skills education and training, particularly building on the good work Halton Borough Council is delivering to residents of our borough.

 “It is a great opportunity for us to improve the Council’s adult learning accommodation and equipment and bring it up to date, particularly from a digital perspective.

 “We want to offer our students the best facilities we can to help them gain the skills they need and this funding will enable us to provide a more accessible, inclusive learning environment for our learners.”