Bordon: Loss-making building trade school to close

A training centre is to close after reporting losses of more than £100,000.

Bordon Future Skills Centre in Hampshire opened in 2017 in a new £3.8m building, offering training in areas including construction and carpentry.

Courses will move from September to the centre's parent institution, Basingstoke College of Technology.

College principal Anthony Bravo OBE said the centre suffered from declines in student numbers and apprenticeships since the Covid pandemic.

He said the centre had 29 students out of a capacity of 272 and had been losing money "hand over fist".

The principal said: "It was a lovely idea - training people to work for companies building homes in the area.

"But Covid came along and destroyed everything. The site has very poor transport links and that didn't help."

Mr Bravo said the centre previously offered apprenticeships with construction firms that were redeveloping the former Bordon army garrison.

However, he said the pandemic caused companies to switch from apprentices, which generated a high proportion of college income, to using sub-contractors instead.

In a Facebook post, staff at the centre said: "It is with a heavy heart and great sadness, that we announce Bordon Future Skills Centre will be closing its doors at the end of this academic year.

"Sadly, due to declining student numbers and rising running costs, it is now not financially viable to remain at the site."

The centre's students and four staff are being offered travel costs to continue at the Basingstoke campus.

The new building was paid for by the former Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership, which was funded by the government and European institutions.

The college said it had decided to exercise a break clause in its lease on the building from Hampshire County Council.

The authority said discussions about the lease were continuing and it was exploring other ways to secure the site's future.

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