Centre set to lose courses

Brighouse Adult Education Centre
Brighouse Adult Education Centre

Specialist courses at the Brighouse Adult Learning Centre (ALC) will be lost after Calderdale Council decided not to renew its lease on the building.

Coun Graham Hall (Hipp/Light, Con) raised the question at Cabinet in September after a number of concerns from residents.

“Even if current classes were relocated in Brighouse it is felt by many people it will be a diminuation of service provision in the Brighouse area which is currently easy to access,” he said.

“I would urge Cabinet to undertake full consideration with all stakeholders before any final decision is taken.”

However, it looks like the decision has been made to move the service and comes on the back of plans for the Calderdale Adult Learning Service to move to its new base at the Heath Training Centre in Halifax. Some classes will be held at Brighouse Library.

One of the groups which uses the building, Heartbeat, held an EGM to discuss its future.

Chairman Roger Bailey said the decision was taken now rather than waiting until next year and move plans forward to move premises and not cause any stress for its members. Deputy leader of the Council, Scott Benton, explained that services such as computing, cookery and arts and crafts will be moved from Brighouse Adult Learning Centre.

He said the number of learners in the Brighouse ward/locality attending classes at the Brighouse ALC has steadily decreased from 85 learner-enrolments in 2011-12 to 67 in 2013-14.

“The combined number of learners from Brighouse and Rastrick amounted to about 130-150. This is equivalent to 25 per cent of the total number of learners attending classes at Brighouse ALC.

“The remaining 75 per cent of learners come from further afield, ie areas in the north, west and south of Halifax. A central Halifax location would therefore have been nearer for 75 per cent of the learners attending Brighouse classes.

“The demand for evening classes has decreased from eight classes over two evenings in 2011-12 to just one class in one evening in 2013-14. There will only be a one-evening opening for adult learning in Brighouse ALC in 2014-15. It is intended that the specialist provision in the present Brighouse ALC in Church Lane will be moved to the Heath Centre. The classroom-based learning activities will continue at the Brighouse Library, which is a few minutes walk from the Brighouse ALC.

“It is expected that the two classrooms at the library will be more than sufficient to cater for the classroom based learning activities provided by Calderdale Adult Learning Service at Brighouse.

“Calderdale Adult Learning will continue to work with other learning providers in Brighouse to provide courses meeting local learners’ needs.”