Southport College. Photo by Andrew Brown Media

Southport College has welcomed news that grants of nearly £1million have been made available to give adult learners the equipment they need to continue with their courses online.

The grants, of between £15,000 and £40,000, are being made available by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority. 

They will go to Adult Education Providers such as Southport College to ensure that learners who have struggled to access IT during Covid-19 have the opportunity to access computer equipment and the required technology to ensure they can complete any online learning. 

Southport College Principal CEO Michelle Brabner said: “At Southport College we are delighted that these funds are now available to help adult learners in digital poverty during these unprecedented times.

“Whilst as a college we are proud that our students are continuing to benefit from face to face learning in a Covid safe environment, we do appreciate that there will be times when individuals are not able attend lessons and being able to have access to the right technology at home will ensure no one misses out. 

“We also now offer a wide range of free online courses, enabling students to learn new skills from home and in their own time.

“Helping those in digital poverty have access to the right IT could potentially mean that these are accessible to a much wider audience, and enable these learners to improve their skills, confidence and ultimately job prospects. 

“We look forward to working with the LCR on this excellent project.”

Many courses are continuing online teaching, but without access to suitable technology and equipment, some learners are unable to carry on with their studies.

Providers including colleges, independent training providers and Local Authority providers of adult and community learning, will now receive the grants to enable them to provide learners with appropriate resources.

The £915,000 in funding comes from the £55 million Adult Education Budget, which due to its devolution agreement, the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority has been responsible for commissioning and funding since August 2019. It aims to work with adults (aged 19 and over) who live in the Liverpool City Region to provide the skills and learning they need to equip them for work, an apprenticeship or other learning.

Contracted providers have been given guidance as to how this funding can be used to benefit learners, such as supporting those who are self-isolating or caring for others affected by Coronavirus and unable to go to classes, those who don’t have internet access at home or don’t have a suitable device on which to compete the necessary online course work.

Steve Rotheram, the Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region said: “These past few months have shown how valuable digital skills are and they’ll be even more valuable as more and more jobs and businesses embrace online working.

“We’re investing almost £1m to ensure that learners across the region have access to the tech that they need to keep up their studies. We will do our best to make sure wherever possible that nobody falls behind or is left behind because of the difficulties caused by Covid-19.

“I want this to help people across the region to succeed not just in the coming weeks and months with their learning, but in years to come where they can play a key role in our recovery.”

The first Adult Education provider grants should be made available in November. For more information on the adult education budget and our contracted education providers go to:

For more details on the courses available at Southport College please visit:

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