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Local Skills Improvement Plan – Funding Announcement

Colleges secure £6m funding to respond to employers’ skills needs

Brooklands College is proud to be part of a collaboration of Colleges and Universities across Hampshire and Surrey who are working together to better support the skills needs of the local economy and labour market. 

The collaboration of colleges and universities includes: Activate Learning, Basingstoke College of Technology, Brooklands College, East Surrey College, HSDC (Alton College), Nescot, Queen Mary’s College, The Sixth Form College Farnborough, Sparsholt College Group (Sparsholt Campus, Andover Campus, University Centre Sparsholt), University of Winchester, Windsor Forest Colleges Group (Strode’s College) and Woking College.

The Government’s Local Skills Improvement Fund project will offer more training opportunities in priority skills areas identified by local businesses and employers – giving them access to the skilled workforce they need to grow and prosper.

Building on previous collaborative activity, the project will help provide equipment and skills training needed in key sectors and in response to urgent calls from business for skills that are vital across the whole economy.

The project is being carried out with the full support of Surrey and Hampshire Chambers of Commerce, alongside Surrey and Hampshire County Councils and other business networks, to help ensure local residents and businesses can access high-quality, technical education and training that meets local future skills.

Sparsholt College Group, will be leading the delivery of the £6 million government project, funded by the Department for Education, and in response to the findings of the Local Skills Improvement Plan report, published by Surrey Chambers of Commerce*.

The project will focus on:

  • CreaTech: Investments in two new, state-of-the-art media production spaces to help respond to skills needs following recent growth in the gaming & immersive technologies and film & television sectors.
  • Advanced manufacturing, engineering and construction: High value jobs in these sectors help us journey towards a low carbon economy. New facilities such as a Passive Low Carbon Technologies Centre, Welding and an Electronics workshops will help deliver the skills for these crucial jobs.
  • Digital: Recent reports have highlighted the seriousness of cyber security, the strengths of the local Space & Satellite sector, the opportunities of artificial intelligence and the impact of agri-tech on food security. Investments in this workstream will build on the successes of local digital clusters to capitalise on tech skills needed for a strong, low carbon, digital economy.
  • Employability and Professional skills: Feedback from employers cites gaps in employability and professional skills, all fundamental to onboarding new employees and supporting their onward and future development. New courses will help plug these gaps.


Julie Milburn, Chief Executive and Principal at Sparsholt College Group said:

“The LSIP funding marks a significant step forward in our commitment to cultivating a skilled, confident and adaptable workforce for the future. The collaboration of local colleges and universities, under the Government’s Local Skills Improvement Fund project, exemplifies the power of unity in addressing the evolving needs of our local communities. This £6 million investment, is a testament to our dedication to providing training opportunities in priority skills areas, identified in consultation with local businesses and employers.”


Lorne Richardson, Executive Director at Brooklands College said: 

“This Local Skills Improvement Fund collaborative project is a great opportunity to work with colleagues, from providers across Surrey and Hampshire, on making sure our education offer meets the needs of our communities and employers. The project will enable our students to learn the transversal skills that will serve them well in the future economy and help them to adapt to the changing employment environment over the coming years. The new Brooklands College, Low Carbon Passive Technologies Centre will increase the college capacity to deliver green skills for the construction industry alongside our current trade skills programmes such as Carpentry, Property Maintenance and to Electrical Installations which are already at the forefront of the green skills economy.”


If you would like to know more about this project – including finding out how your business could engage and benefit, please contact and, Joint LSIF Project Managers.




More information and references:

Local Skills Improvement Plan (Surrey Chambers of Commerce):

Skills training to be transformed with innovative projects (Department for Education):

Local skills improvement fund awards: 2023 to 2025 (Department for Education):

Local skills improvement plans (LSIPs) and local skills improvement fund (LSIF) (Department for Education):

Local skills improvement plans and designated employer representative bodies (Department for Education):

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Brooklands College Weybridge Campus

Heath Road, Weybridge, Surrey KT13 8TT

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Stanwell Road, Ashford TW15 3DU