Boost for adult learning after community centre's £400k revamp

March community centre officially re-opened on November 5

March Community Centre officially re-opened on November 5, after a £400,000 grant from the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority. - Credit: Facebook / Steve Barclay

March Community Centre officially re-opened today (Friday November 5) following a £400,000 refurbishment that also aims to provide 141 jobs and 68 apprenticeships in the next three years. 

Work on the centre has been completed thanks to a grant from the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority’s growth fund. 

The makeover has seen the main centre and outbuildings redesigned and refurbished with the improvements.

There are now three additional teaching rooms, a large open-plan reception area, two new office spaces, new security features and upgraded facilities such as a changing space.

It will also provide an administrative base for the council’s adult and community learning service, Cambridgeshire Skills, to reach out to communities across local towns and villages.

Cllr Jan French, MP Steve Barclay and Mayor Dr Nik Johnson attended March community centre's official opening ceremony. 

Cllr Jan French, MP Steve Barclay and Mayor Dr Nik Johnson attended March Community Centre's official opening ceremony. Picture: Katie Woodcock - Credit: ARCHANT

Improvements at March community centre include additional teaching rooms and a hub for learners and residents in Fenland. 

Improvements at March Community Centre include additional teaching rooms and a hub for learners and residents in Fenland. Picture: Katie Woodcock - Credit: ARCHANT

MP Steve Barclay spoke to volunteers at the centres cafe about how much the refurbishment means to them.

MP Steve Barclay spoke to volunteers at the centres cafe about how much the refurbishment means to them. Picture: Katie Woodcock - Credit: ARCHANT

It will provide them with place-based learning opportunities and an expanded range of options for community hire.

Another aim is to be able to place 695 new learners on courses in the next three years as a result of the funding.

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To mark the works being completed, a ribbon-cutting ceremony took place with Steve Barclay, MP for North East Cambridgeshire and Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Dr Nik Johnson, who leads the Combined Authority.

Mayor Dr Nik Johnson said: “Fenland hasn’t had the investment needed over many years and socioeconomically, it’s quite challenged. 

“It’s an absolute pleasure to represent the Combined Authority at March Community Centre in being part of an investment where people who live in March who often feel forgotten about, get an opportunity to get easy access to opportunities to change their lives. 

“Education can be transformative and if you have the opportunity in a supportive, caring environment for me, that’s compassion. 

“I’ve already seen that the support from the tutors and volunteers in this organisation show immense care and compassion for local people. 

After the opening, guests enjoyed tea, coffee and cake whilst listening to speeches.

After the opening, guests enjoyed tea, coffee and cake whilst listening to speeches. Picture: Katie Woodcock - Credit: ARCHANT

A volunteer for March community centre could not thank the centre enough for the help they’ve given her. 

A volunteer for March Community Centre could not thank the centre enough for the help they’ve given her. Picture: Katie Woodcock - Credit: ARCHANT

MP Steve Barclay said: “It was a real pleasure to open the new look March community centre, which is a fantastic resource within our community. 

“It’s a huge tribute to Tanya and the whole team who have worked so hard on this refurbishment."

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