The City of Bath College’s community learning programme is expanding with the opening of a new high-tech teaching space in the heart of Twerton.
The former FOTEC building in High Street is being given a new lease of life as the Twerton Learning Centre Hub.
The new IT suite is in the process of being decorated and kitted out with up to 12 computers for learners.
The learning hub will open this month and will immediately be put to good use with a course for people concerned about the changes to the benefits system.
The College wants to meet the demand of people who have questions about how their household incomes could be affected from April 1st.
The Twerton Learning Centre will remain open as an office, resource centre and information point, with community lessons being taught at the nearby Learning Hub.
Community Learning Manager Tricia Byrne said: “We’re really excited about expanding and having this new space. It means we will have our own IT suite which will give us a lot more room for teaching. We want to engage more learners by showing them that learning is for people of any age. It’s not just something you do at school; learning can be life-long.
“People can be quite fearful of education so it’s about breaking down those barriers and helping them to overcome their fears and become more confident.”
More than 1,050 learners have enrolled on short courses since City of Bath College took over community learning from Bath and North East Somerset Council in August 2011.
The College has about 20 community learning tutors who aim to help people “better themselves and function more effectively in life.”
The former FOTEC building, which has been empty for about 18 months, is owned by the Curo Group and the College continues to work closely with the housing association’s tenants.
Tricia added: “We work closely with Curo and will launch the new venue with a course for their tenants to help them get to grips with Government’s changes to benefits.
“Some tenants are worried about what might happen to their finances so we want to answer their questions. Some of them will have to re-apply online but they aren’t used to using a PC or don’t have a PC at home. We can make sure they have all the right information at their fingertips.
“It’s really important for us to support the community at a time when they need us the most.”
Other courses on offer through Community Learning include money management, basic skills in English, Maths and IT, and a wide selection of arts and crafts.
Courses are held at venues across the region including Percy Community Centre, Bath City Farm, Keynsham Library, and several schools in the Midsomer Norton and Radstock area.
For further information, call the Twerton Learning Centre on 01225 352440 or visit them at 89/90 High Street.