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Cumbria's network of Community Development Centres (CDC), which provide communities across Cumbria with locally based training and development opportunities, are being given the chance to come up with new ideas to benefit their local areas.
On Thursday (14 June) Cumbria County Council’s Cabinet agreed how funding of £225,000 would be allocated across the 13 centres; but centres are being asked to come up with plans for using that money to achieve a range of objectives aimed at building community capacity.
An additional £30,000 was also allocated to facilitate the further development of the CDC network in Copeland. CDCs exist to encourage learning opportunities in deprived and rurally isolated communities as the foundation for sustainable economic and social regeneration.
When CDCs were first set up in Cumbria, their mission was to encourage and facilitate the development of self-learning and self confident local communities, as a foundation for sustainable economic and social regeneration. This mission still holds true. They are located, in the main, in urban wards of high social disadvantage and in rurally remote communities.
They are well placed to deliver a range of capacity building projects for the most disadvantaged, and to assist young people and adults in building confidence, thereby supporting them to access more formal learning programmes, and develop skills for employment.
The services delivered vary from centre to centre, however primarily they deliver adult education courses (accredited and unaccredited courses), with their funding coming mostly from the Skills Funding Agency, via Cumbria County Council. They also receive income from a range of other sources. CDCs are free to develop and deliver their own provision, and may contract with other commissioning bodies.
Councillor Oliver Pearson, cabinet member for Stronger Communities said: "Community Development Centres do vital work in some of our most deprived and isolated communities.
"They are an important part of our anti-poverty strategy and help people develop their skills for employment.
"This announcement gives CDCs the opportunity to come up with innovative ideas to help build capacity in their local communities. I particularly welcome the funding to set up a CDC network in Copeland, I am sure they will make a very positive contribution to their communities."