Mayoral investment in Mary Ward Centre East
The Mayor of London’s Skills for Londoners Capital Fund has awarded £5.6m to the Mary Ward Settlement Group to help move its specialist adult educational centre from Camden to Stratford, East London.
The move is part of the Settlement’s plans to expand its Pan-London impact by a third – increasing its reach from 9,000 to 12,500 people, drawn from every London borough.
Craigmyle consultant, Siân Newton, has been working with the Settlement Group to raise funds to fund the relocation and integration of services across its locations – the Blackfriars Settlement Community hub, Southwark and the new Mary Ward East, Stratford.
“This is a really exciting opportunity for the Settlement and securing this support from the Mayor’s Skills for Londoners Capital Fund is a vital part for the projects. Siân has been an immense support to us.“ Suzanna Jackson, Warden, Mary Ward Settlement Group
The Settlement has outgrown its current building, which will be unaffordable when the lease ends in 2022.
Moving to East London will help create a fairer balance of specialist adult education. The Centre is one of three specialist London Institutes of Adult Learning in Camden, none are in East London. It will also help meet learning needs and build community cohesion in an area of London facing significant population growth, poverty and inequalities, and with the challenges/opportunities associated with gentrification.
A building has been bought on Stratford High Street, which now needs to be expanded and renovated. The new Centre will be fully accessible, have greater community spaces (such as a café and open access IT) and subject specialist spaces such as sculpture studio and language laboratories.
The Settlement works alongside Londoners, supporting and enabling them to reach their potential and build new futures. As well as providing broad adult education, it provides: free specialist legal advice on housing, debt and welfare benefits; local community projects helping the most disadvantaged; and a community hub, which brings people together, promoting cohesion and engagement.
Fundraising continues, to raise the further £1.5m needed to complete the building project.