Col­lege set to take over shop

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Uk&world Update - By DAWN FEL­LOWES dawn.fel­lowes@pe­ter­bor­oughto­day.co.uk @Et­dawn­fel­lowes

AN EMPTY shop unit is be­ing trans­formed into an ed­u­ca­tional com­mu­nity hub in a city cen­tre street.

City Col­lege Peter­bor­ough is open­ing up the for­mer Hawkins Bazaar shop unit, in Bridge Street, on Wed­nes­day, May 16 as part of a six-month pi­lot as a place to run work­shops, course taster ses­sions and of­fer ad­vice to both young peo­ple and job hunters.

The shop unit, which has been re­dec­o­rated by the col­lege’s con­struc­tion stu­dents and is be­ing leased by Peter­bor­ough City Coun­cil for free, will be typ­i­cally open from 10am to 4pm on most days, in­clud­ing up­com­ing city events like Peter­bor­ough Arts Fes­ti­val, and manned by at least two mem­bers of staff at any one time.

Young­sters look­ing for ca­reers or course ad­vice from the col­lege or those search­ing for train­ing to im­prove their em­ploy­a­bil­ity will be wel­come to pop into the shop for a chat dur­ing its open­ing hours. There will also be arts and crafts ses­sions and other ac­tiv­i­ties for fam­i­lies.

Vol­un­teers from the col­lege’s Her­itage Lot­tery-backed His­tory Mir­rors project will also be based there, giv­ing work­shops about the work they are do­ing col­lect­ing mem­o­ra­bilia from the 1940s to the 1980s.

Col­lege prin­ci­pal Pat Car­ring­ton said: “We are ex­cited about the op­por­tu­ni­ties this new site will of­fer to peo­ple who live and work in the city, par­tic­u­larly young peo­ple who are about to leave school or col­lege and want to find out more about what their fu­ture op­tions may be.

“Although the site will ini­tially open for a pe­riod of six months, we do have an op­por­tu­nity to ex­tend the fa­cil­ity go­ing for­ward if lo­cal em­ploy­ees and res­i­dents want.

“In the cur­rent aca­demic year alone, over 5,000 adults and young peo­ple have at­tended at least one course or pro­gramme through the col­lege, im­prov­ing their em­ploy­a­bil­ity and ca­reer prospects or sim­ply learn­ing some­thing as a pas­time or hobby.

“The aim is to de­liver ac­tiv­i­ties at the site, to en­sure our pro- grammes are avail­able to ev­ery­one.”

In 2009, the col­lege opened up a shop in Queens­gate and more than 5,500 peo­ple vis­ited the site dur­ing the 10 weeks it was open.

It will be of­fi­cially opened on Fri­day, May 18 by the Ms Car­ring­ton, Mid­dle­sex Univer­sity’s deputy vice chan­cel­lor Mar­garet House and Peter­bor­ough City Coun­cil’s leader Cllr Marco Cer­este, who has wel­comed the scheme.

He said: “The last thing we want are empty shops in Bridge Street so the fact it is be­ing opened is great but also it is more im­por­tant that we use the univer­sity and the col­leges to re­ally skill our kids up to de­liver cour­ses in the city, make sure they are em­ploy­able and get jobs. So it is a win, win, win sit­u­a­tion.”

For more in­for­ma­tion con­tact the col­lege on 01733 761361 or email ad­min@city­col­legepeter­bor­ough.ac.uk

re­vamp: Hawkins Bazaar shop unit in Bridge Street is be­ing taken over by City Col­lege Peter­bor­ough.

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