The Marches LEP secured Growth Deal funding to help tackle the skills gap in the region. 

You can learn more about how the LEP is working with employers and training providers to help develop workforce skills below or use the Marches Work and Training Tool to find out what’s available. You can also find out more about the Skills Advisory Panel here.

And in this short video, employers explain how important apprentices are to their business and how LEP investment is helping to create 2,700 apprenticeships in the Marches.


Herefordshire Group Training Association (HGTA)

This project has transformed the Centre of Vocational Excellence for Engineering in Hereford by acquiring more appropriate and up to date engineering equipment. The project has enabled increased provision of advanced apprenticeships and mature workforce qualifications in skills shortages of engineering; by 2021 this project will deliver 91 apprenticeships, 637 additional qualifications and will have supported an additional 40 businesses.

Project funding – Growth Deal funds: £83,267 and other public funding of £83,267.

Hereford and Ludlow College

This investment has enabled the college to fit out the new land based and vehicle engineering workshop at the Holme Lacy Campus. The project included increased facilities for welding and fabrication, modern computer linked engineering equipment and agricultural machinery for teaching purposes, and will deliver 40 apprentices and develop a higher engineering course by 2021.

Project funding – Growth Deal funds: £197,400 and other public funding of £394,800.

SBC Training

This investment has helped SBC Training to develop a new engineering and manufacturing training centre in Shrewsbury. The project is providing access to modern industrial standard machinery and equipment and is being directed specifically at the advanced manufacturing sector. The project includes a new mezzanine floor, capital machinery and tooling. The outputs from the project will be 202m2 commercial floorspace occupied, 36 apprenticeships, 30 businesses supported and 60 additional qualifications will be delivered, all by March 2021.

Project funding – Growth Deal funds: £50,000 and private sector leverage of £100,00

Marches Centre of Manufacturing & Technology CIC

This project has developed an Advanced Manufacturing Hub, a regional training centre in Bridgnorth. The project is led by four partners, Grainger and Worrall, Classic Motor Cars, Salop Design and Engineering and In-Comm Training. The new facility provides learners with new opportunities to apply new found skills in a real life manufacturing situation and will deliver 684 apprenticeships, 1,172 qualifications, 480 bite size training courses and will support 279 businesses by March 2021.

Project funding – Growth Deal funds: £1,922,095 and private sector leverage of £823,756.

The video below was filmed when Minister for the Northern Powerhouse and Local Growth, Jake Berry, visited the flagship Marches Centre for Manufacturing and Technology, in Bridgnorth.

Hereford and Ludlow College/HGTA

This joint project has developed a centre for excellence for engineering and manufacturing in Herefordshire which is led by two partners, Herefordshire & Ludlow College and Herefordshire Group Training Association. The project provides an environment that will help local industries move to higher skilled automated processes by increasing the ability to offer in-service training. The project will recruit 260 additional apprentices, deliver 300 additional qualifications and will support 225 businesses by March 2021.

Project funding – Growth Deal funds: £464,763, private sector leverage: £122,100 and other public funding of £77,084.

Shrewsbury Colleges Group

This project has led to the development of the Shropshire Advanced Manufacturing Skills Hub. Shrewsbury College is working in alliance with Caterpillar, Staffordshire University and Fest to increase the higher education offer to include full degrees, bespoke training direct to engineering companies and training for apprentices and learners. The project has created an entirely new product design and prototype suite with the latest specialist engineering equipment and software. The outputs from the project by March 2021 will be 191 businesses supported, 387 apprentices, 134 NVQ Level 2 and 3,504 Level 2 and 3 full time, 82 bite size training courses and 227 HE degrees.

Project funding – Growth Deal funds: £425,166 and other public funding of £182,214.

Growth Deal 3

The latest award of Growth Deal 3 funding was announced in March 2017 providing a boost of £21.9 million for the Marches to help create jobs, support businesses and encourage growth through projects including Investing in Our Future Workforce. This is a Marches-wide project which has provided capital investment in training facilities, technical equipment and enterprise incubators in a number of local colleges through £2.75m of Growth Deal funding. This is facilitating enhanced employment and progression opportunities for 3,700 learners and improving progression into self-employment.  The investment is strengthening vocational digital and technical skills through traineeships, apprenticeships and work experience in key sectors (e.g. engineering, agri-tech, environmental technologies, IT, healthcare and construction) to meet the needs of local employers.

Derwen College

Improved IT Infrastructure to develop digital resources assisting young people in the workplace. The project is supporting employers where they need to make adjustments in their workplace for learners with different abilities.

Project funding – Growth Deal funds: £315,000

North Shropshire College

Investment in IT infrastructure and IT learning resources to meet NSC’s Digital Strategy, modernising the curriculum to the changing skills and qualifications needs of the Marches employers and better access to learning through the use of technology.

Project funding – Growth Deal funds: £423,833

Shrewsbury Colleges Group

Investment to bring the latest technological advances to its teaching of construction, built environment and digital media at both apprenticeship and HE levels.

Project funding – Growth Deal funds: £209,079

Telford College

This project has enabled the development and installation of virtual reality and augmented reality technology in multimedia suites at the college, allowing specialised hi-tech 3D education and training to be delivered.

Project funding – Growth Deal funds: £520,326

Further information on skills, including our skills plan, can be found here.

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