No plans to close Burnley’s £2m. City Learning Centre

City Learning Centre. Photo Ben Parsons
City Learning Centre. Photo Ben Parsons

CRIPPLING cuts are set to hit a state-of-the-art learning centre just months after it underwent a £2m. revamp.

The Government has announced it will pull the plug on all £186,000 of funding for Burnley’s “exceptional” new City Learning Centre which only opened in October.

However, fears the Unity College-based centre could be axed altogether have been allayed, despite the cuts comprising 50% of the CLC’s income.

Mike Hart, director of investment for children and young people at Lancashire County Council, said there are no current plans to close the facility which is used by primary and secondary school pupils across Burnley for IT and media training.

In a letter to headteachers, he said: “The building is part of the newly built campus at Unity and the facility will continue to be used to enhance educational provision across Lancashire.

“It must be recognised the Government has withdrawn the grant funding that supported aspects of the work of all city learning centres, and that like others, Burnley CLC will need to operate within the new financial climate.”

The centre, which formed part of the Building Schools for the Future programme, opened to great fanfare last October and stood out as a beacon of technology-led education in Lancashire.

The £2m. centre boasts a professional TV studio with advanced editing suites which enabled students to take part in the BBC’s Autumnwatch and Springwatch programmes.

There are state-of-the-art ICT and media training facilities, including an Apple Mac suite, which have been used to teach students and train teachers.

There are also six flexible conference rooms with moving walls that can be booked by companies or outside organisations.

At the time it was unveiled, CLC manager Paul Matty said: “The building is exceptional. You can do conferences or TV programmes and radio shows from here. It is amazing.”

But now some of those services could be under threat from Government grant support which will see 50% of the centre’s £360,000 costs withdrawn between now and 2013.

However, Mr Hart said: “We are working with the management to determine the most appropriate services to be offered to schools and other educational settings that will provide the most secure future for the facility.”