Village centre returns to community use thanks to council grant - The Rugby Observer

Village centre returns to community use thanks to council grant

Rugby Editorial 28th Aug, 2023   0

A VILLAGE centre building in Rugby borough is returning to community use.

The Learn2 Education Centre (LEC) at Forge Cottage in Brandon is now home to The Learn2 Group, an education and first aid training provider run by business owner Becki Coombe.

Becki identified the building, which was vacant and in serious need of refurbishment after decades as home to a fruit machine repair business, as having plenty of potential.

Just how much potential then became clear as she explored the plot and now, backed by a Small Capital Grant from Warwickshire County Council (WCC), Becki aims to make the renewed site a home for community use as well as her business’s meetings and training sessions.

The grant helped transform the property from dereliction into a delivery centre with training and conference spaces, a kitchen and breakout room, and an outdoor space with potential to host events.

Becki said: “We are absolutely thrilled with the refurbishment. People are loving the events we hold here and we couldn’t have done all the necessary work without the grant.

“The huge refurb jobs, like the roof and flooring and paving, look brilliant and those couldn’t have been done, certainly not to such high spec, without the support of the council.”

Becki has recently recruited a part-time wellbeing host and cleaner, and is looking to add at least one new employee every year.

A qualified and experienced teacher and trainer, Becki has been delivering educational and vocational courses to learners between the ages of 14 and 50 for over 15 years.

“I trained in education and worked predominantly with disaffected and disengaged young people,” she said. “When I expanded with work within mental health training, I quickly realised that the majority of my proactive and positive behaviour management strategies and processes come right back around to mental health and wellbeing.

“We have an open calendar of physical first aid and mental health first aid courses for adults and young people, and suicide prevention has also become quite a big focus.”

Now, parallel to those courses, Becki intends The LEC to be a welcoming venue for all aspects of village life.

“I am keen to integrate into the community,” she said. “This is now a lovely building with great facilities and we are already hosting four professional business networking meetings, so the message is spreading. The village has been very welcoming and I’m really looking forward to being part of  it for years to come.”

Coun Martin Watson, WCC’s spokesman for Economy and Place, said: “The Learn2 Group is bringing a derelict site in Brandon back into the most constructive use and I am delighted that the grant will benefit not only Becki’s business but also the community.”

Call CWGrowth Hub on 0300 060 3747 to find out about business support.


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