PLANS to create a new learning centre - backed by a team at a Barnsley’s famed Northern College - took a major step forward this week.

Members of the Stocksbridge Town Deal Board agreed with the team at Stainborough-based Northern College to bring a host of adult education and learning opportunities.

The new facility will be housed in the Stocksbridge 519 building on Manchester Road - a commercial and community hub anchoring the town centre regeneration.

The skills hub will allow Northern College to offer courses and opportunities for local people who are looking to re-enter education, gain qualifications for work or make a career change from late 2025.

Miriam Cates, MP for Penistone and Stockbridge, is also the chair of the Stocksbridge Town Deal Board and praised the move.

She said: “We are excited to be working with the excellent team from Northern College on this project.

“Having access to vocational training and the opportunity to learn new skills is hugely important and we’re really pleased to be able to support this fantastic project.

“The agreement with Northern College sets our plans in motion to have a new educational facility at the heart of the community in Stocksbridge in our newly-regenerated town centre.”

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The planning application for the Stocksbridge 519 building was submitted in December and it’s hoped that work will start later in the year.

Principal and chief executive of Northern College, Emma Beal, added: “The plans look great and we are looking forward to being part of the new Stocksbridge 519 building.

“We have a shared vision to make a real difference and bring additional skills and learning opportunities.

“We’ve already started carefully looking at the type of courses that the community would like to see, and we’ll be doing more of that local engagement as the plans and construction work progress on the building.”