Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority have awarded £82,500 funding to support the Black Mountains College Project.
The award from the Sustainable Development Fund has been made so that organisers of the Black Mountains College can undertake a full feasibility study and options appraisal.
The overall vision for the project, if successful, is to create an inter-disciplinary modern University, within the National Park, that will pioneer new ways of thinking, learning and working. The challenges faced across the world in relation to climate change, economic change and population change require new models of teaching and a further education system tailored to fit the needs of the 21st century.
The project also recognises the importance of economic growth and regeneration within rural Wales and proposes that a development such as this will assist in meeting these objectives. Still within the very early stages, the Black Mountains College project is visionary, modern and if created would be unique within the UK. The feasibility study is the first key stage in exploring whether the vision can become a practical reality.
Welsh author, Owen Sheers, who is one of the organisers of the project said; “We passionately believe that Black Mountains College is a vital project on both a local and national level. The prospect of a new community university as an engine to drive regeneration and job creation in the area is very exciting, and this generous support from Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority is a crucial first step.”
Julian Atkins, Director of Countryside and Land Management at Bannau Brycheiniog National Park added; “The Black Mountains College project is inspiring and visionary for this region and also for Wales as a whole. It offers great possibilities and opportunities for the future. The grant that we have awarded will allow the project team to explore whether this project is feasible.”
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