College set to take over shop
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
revamp: Hawkins Bazaar shop unit in Bridge Street is being taken over by City College Peterborough.