ECC announces new £10m skills funding at Arise

Essex County Council launch at Arise in Harlow

ARU’s Arise Innovation Hub in Harlow hosts major Essex County Council launch

Anglia Ruskin University’s Arise Innovation Hub in Harlow has hosted the launch of a new funding initiative from Essex County Council (ECC) to help the county’s residents learn new, life-changing skills.

The £10million funding, to be invested over the next four years, aims to support skills and training for Essex residents, and boost the county’s economy. It was launched as part of a Levelling Up Roadshow in Harlow.

This additional funding will be supported by the development of a new Sector Development Strategy for Essex. Developed with partners and input from more than 600 Essex businesses, the strategy will focus on the opportunities for growth across the county when it is published in the spring.

It will set out plans to make Harlow a centre for med tech and digital, whilst also helping to deliver on ECC’s commitment for a carbon net zero county and to a green economy.

The new Arise Innovation Hub in Harlow, funded by ECC and Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), will formally open in March. The £6million building is an ideal space for innovative start-ups and entrepreneurs looking for a base to grow their company.

Located within strong scientific communities on the new Harlow Innovation Park, at the heart of the Harlow Enterprise Zone and the UK Innovation Corridor, the Arise Innovation Hub will provide office space, research and development facilities, meeting rooms, easy access to services on the innovation park, plus access to expertise and use of world-leading facilities at ARU’s campuses in Chelmsford and Cambridge.

Cllr Lesley Wagland OBE, Cabinet Member for Economic Renewal, Infrastructure and Planning at ECC, said:

“This £10m additional funding announced today underlines our commitment to a dynamic and thriving economy, driven by our amazing local businesses. Our businesses are the life blood of our economy, providing jobs to local people.

“Harlow is on the cusp of a transformational moment and additional investment from us, and our partners, will play a key role in Levelling Up this part of the county. We are committed to supporting existing local businesses to thrive, attracting new businesses to Harlow bringing more jobs, and developing the innovation ecosystem that is already growing in this part of Essex.”

Cllr Tony Ball, Cabinet Member for Education Excellence, Lifelong Learning and Employability at ECC, said:

“We know that learning doesn’t stop when you turn 18. We all learn throughout our lives and in today’s economy people need to keep learning new skills. That’s why my portfolio is Lifelong Learning, and the skills agenda is a core part of our work in Essex County Council.

“I’m delighted we’re committing an additional £10m to support skills and training for our residents, as well as investing in our economy. Our Levelling Up strategy places skills at its heart and this investment will support a new culture of lifelong learning, enabling Harlow residents to get the skills training they need to support their jobs and career ambitions now and in the future.”

Professor Roderick Watkins, Vice Chancellor of ARU, said:

“The investment of £10million to support skills and training for Essex residents will provide opportunities for people of all ages. Our Arise building in Harlow, a joint venture with ECC, provides incubation and facilities to support start-ups and SMEs in the area and is a fitting place for today’s Levelling Up Roadshow to begin. We look forward to working closely with ECC and partners to ensure everyone in Essex has the opportunity to obtain the skills needed by industry.”

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