Pollards Hill Library will receive more than £120,000 to help people from the local community who have limited or no access to new technology develop their computer skills. Improvements will be made to the existing open learning centre at Pollards Hill Library and it will open by April 2002 under the new name of the Commonside Open Learning Centre.
Residents of Pollards Hill, Longthornton and Figges Marsh wards, which form the ‘Commonside’ area, will be able to develop their computer skills and explore the opportunities new technology offers.
New computer equipment will be installed in the learning centre and laptop computers will be lent to lone parents who take certain courses enabling them to practice their skills at home. Crèche provision will be made available during sessions targeted at lone parents and for the wider community once a week.
The Department for Education and Skills will provide funding up to £47,625 and New Opportunities Fund will put in £75,000 over the next three years.
The Pollards Hill Regeneration Scheme in partnership with Merton Library and Heritage Service, Commonside Community Development Trust, Merton Adult College, Pollards Hill Parent Gateway Project and the New Deal Lone Parent Adviser (Mitcham) have all worked together to secure the funding.
Councillor Karl Carter, Cabinet Member for Secondary Education and Lifelong Learning, said: ‘The funding will help more people in the community who wouldn’t usually have access to the latest technology get involved in the world of communication, information and e-commerce availiable through the internet and computers.
“The centre will have experienced staff who can help and cater for individual needs, so if you want to send emails or just surf the net to find information, you can do it in a friendly and helpful atmosphere.”