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£5M funding pledge to create LSBU centre for community engagement and learning

Southwark Council has pledged £5million towards the creation of the Passmore Centre – a new hub at LSBU for high quality professional and technical courses
03 April 2017

London South Bank University (LSBU) is to receive a grant of up to £5million from Southwark Council to help create the new Passmore Centre - a dedicated hub supporting apprenticeships, training and skills in the borough. The Passmore Centre will help realise Southwark’s aim of creating 2,000 apprenticeships by 2020 to help boost a strong local economy.

A further £3million has been pledged by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) with an additional £4m from LSBU, which will be used to expand the facilities needed to deliver higher and degree apprenticeships.

The creation of the new Passmore Centre demonstrates the University’s strong commitment to supporting learners and apprenticeships in Southwark. A focus of the new centre will be employer engagement, providing a ‘one stop shop’ to help employers access information about apprenticeships and potential apprentices. The Centre will offer spaces for employer meetings, community engagement and teaching facilities.

This significant investment will also refurbish the attractive but disused Victorian (Grade II listed) Passmore Library building which is currently on Southwark Council’s register of endangered buildings.

The grant from Southwark Council was announced at a Cabinet meeting this week. Speaking at the meeting, Professor David Phoenix, Vice-Chancellor of LSBU said: “Southwark’s generous £5million donation to the Passmore Centre means that this project is now a reality and LSBU can contribute to meeting the UK’s national shortfall in professional and technical skills.

“By 2020, we envisage 2,000 students every year taking apprenticeships at LSBU, with around 600 achieving higher degree apprenticeship qualifications or the equivalent. By 2023 our aim is that a total of approximately 1,000 Southwark residents will have graduated from high quality apprenticeship programmes.

“This ambitious goal aligns with LSBU’s strategy for supporting the technical and professional qualifications of both the local community and our student population.”

Councillor Peter John, Leader of Southwark Council, said: “In September 2016 the council made a commitment to do all we can to support a high quality further education and skills offer in Southwark. But a commitment is only worth something if action follows, which is why we are making this £5million investment in the Passmore Centre to create a gateway for learners into higher professional and technical education – an investment that will equip 1,000 Southwark residents to achieve high quality apprenticeships and give them the skills to take up the jobs demanded of the future.”