College welcomes Toby Perkins MP to open The Business Centre

Andrew Denniff, Toby Perkins and Yiannis Koursis Cutting Red Ribbon

College has launched a new start-up hub in collaboration with the Barnsley & Rotherham Chamber of Commerce, with the aim of supporting fledgling businesses to go from the kitchen table to the boardroom.

We will work together with Barnsley & Rotherham Chamber of Commerce to support new businesses operating from the five incubation pods located at our Business Centre. The pods will be offered free of charge alongside a raft of support, providing start-ups have the appetite to develop and grow.

Toby Perkins MP said: “I am delighted to be back at Barnsley College to hear from staff, learners and local employers. As this is Colleges Week, I’m eager to celebrate the vital role that colleges play across their community. Labour believes in a collaborative approach for the skills sector and it is great to see an example of this working well, with the launch of the Business Centre today.”

Small and micro businesses are invited to take advantage of the new meeting rooms and facilities, as well as receiving tailored support and guidance from the Chamber of Commerce.

It is expected that those receiving support through this initiative will also offer work-based opportunities to current college students.

A recently launched Skills for Jobs white paper highlighted the need for employers and education to work hand-in-hand, which has seen the Barnsley & Rotherham Chamber of Commerce create a permanent office within the college’s Business Centre.

The College and Chamber are also part of the Local Skills Improvement Plans (LSIP) in South Yorkshire, a trailblazer programme that was launched as a result of the white paper, with the aim of identifying skills requirements in South Yorkshire and developing talent to meet these needs.

Toby Perkins MP opened the Barnsley College Business Centre and joined other businesses and industry professionals touring the facilities and hearing from speakers including David Akeroyd, Andy Hogg, Andrew Denniff and Eloise Clarkson.

Toby Perkins MP said: “I am delighted to be back at Barnsley College to hear from staff, learners and local employers. As this is Colleges Week, I’m eager to celebrate the vital role that colleges play across their community. Labour believes in a collaborative approach for the skills sector and it is great to see an example of this working well, with the launch of the Business Centre today.”

Andrew Denniff, Chief Executive of Barnsley and Rotherham Chamber of Commerce, added:

“The opening of the Business Centre here at the College is not just the realisation of a project to bring local businesses face-to-face with the college and its students, but simply a stepping-stone towards greater collaboration and practical partnership working across both sectors of our local community. It has been a long-held vision that interaction between education and business is key to successful economic regeneration, and I am sure the new centre will play its part in that ambition.”

Yiannis Koursis OBE, Chief Executive and Principal of Barnsley College, said: “We are delighted to welcome new businesses who are looking for incredible workspaces to grow and develop. 

“They will have access to our facilities and business support from the Chamber, whilst crucially supporting the development of our young people by offering employment-related activities to students.

“The Business Centre is a conduit to enhancing business support in the region and creating closer links with employers, ensuring we offer the very best curriculum and skills development so our young people are given every opportunity to go onto further study or work.

 “We want businesses to find a home at the College, to grow with us and in turn we will help and support that growth.”

Last updated: 1st November 2022

Originally posted on: 1st November 2022