West Suffolk College drop in centre leaves Haverhill High Street

West Suffolk College's Leap centre in Haverhill High Street
West Suffolk College's Leap centre in Haverhill High Street

An education and training drop-in centre is to leave Haverhill High Street and instead be based on an industrial estate.

West Suffolk College’s (WSC) Leap centre will shut when its lease expires at the end of the month, and from then on be based at the Menta business centre in Hollands Road.

Rose Hubbuck, a member of Haverhill Arts Group and part time teacher at WSC, said: “Where is the logic that moves the High Street offices of WSC to the industrial estate, without public transport links?

“Who is going to walk all the way up there?

“The office is for our future workers and people that have been out of work through no fault of their own, who need help to get back into work.

“How important is it for people that missed out at school to get help and the confidence to get back to work with the right sort of training?”

WSC said that the new base would offer better facilities and more car parking for enquirers and learners, and that the Leap centre already organises classes in a number of different venues in Haverhill and the surrounding area

Mary Taylor, head of adult education at WSC, said: “We are taking the opportunity to relocate our face-to-face service to Menta’s well-resourced premises.

“This move will help foster our excellent working partnership with Menta and the local business community.

“A range of courses have been running very successfully at these premises for the past 18 months.

“The premises in Haverhill High Street have been a good way of showcasing WSC’s offer, but our move to the Menta business centre will give us access to improved facilities.

“Although we may not find so many people dropping in off the street, we anticipate a similar number of learners will be accessing courses, which were not all run at the Leap centre in any case.

“Potential students will be able to contact us by phone or email, or via social media and they can already enrol on courses online, at a five per cent discount.

“Links with local employers, which are already strong, will be strengthened by our close collaboration with Menta.

“We are hoping to have a presence in Haverhill Job Centre on one morning a week to give advice and information on employability courses.”

ONE Haverhill’s youth skills manager Karen Chapple, who is currently based at the Leap centre, will move to be based at the arts centre.

For more information on the centre call 01440 712177 or e-mail haverhill@wsc.ac.uk

For all the latest news see Thursday’s (April 17) Echo.