A new Digital Technologies Campus planned for the heart of Basildon town centre is to receive more than £2million of Local Growth Fund support via the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP).
At its June meeting, SELEP’s Accountability Board approved funding of £2.15million for the project, having heard the new campus will provide training in key areas that have been identified in the organisation’s Skills Strategy as facing skills shortages. These include IT networking, cyber-security, animation, game design and programming.
The campus will provide programmes through to Full Honours Degrees while South Essex College will use it to develop the new T Levels in Digital Technologies, and expand its apprenticeship courses. It is predicted the campus will support 16,000 Further and Higher Education students over a 20 year period.
More than 150 jobs will be based at the campus, including 20 new roles alongside staff relocated from the existing Basildon campus, which is due to close.
Commenting on the support, Christian Brodie, Chair of SELEP, which is responsible for driving and supporting economic growth in East Sussex, Essex, Kent, Medway, Southend and Thurrock, said: “This new Basildon campus will play a vital role in increasing digital skills in South Essex and further afield.
“As a LEP we are working hard to help create a future workforce for the key sectors that will help drive the economy of the South East. Our Skills Strategy identified that there is a growing need for digital skills, with business growth being held back, vacancy numbers remaining high and many companies struggling to recruit and retain digitally-focused staff.”
To help meet those challenges, SELEP has launched a new Digital Skills Partnership to bring together businesses, public sector organisations and the charitable sector to focus on how best to ensure the need for these vital skills is met across the area.
SELEP will coordinate the new partnership and act as a link between the Government’s Department of Digital, Culture, Media & Sport and corporate partners including the likes of Google, IBM and local digital SMEs to help support residents and businesses.
Christian Brodie added: “The new Basildon campus will be an important contributor to creating future generations of skilled workers and it is only right that SELEP has approved this crucial funding to support it.”