Ørsted announces winners to Round 4 for Lancashire and Cumbria education and skills projects

Ørsted announces winners to Round 4 for Lancashire and Cumbria education and skills projects

Ørsted is delighted to announce that two groups will share more than £60,000 in funding from Round 4 of the Walney Extension Skills Fund, which is aimed at helping to deliver Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) related training or education courses in the region.

The first award of £29,400 this year goes to STEMFirst to deliver a “Bridge the Gap” educational game to school children aged between 7 and 14. It is a fun hands-on board game in two parts. Part one involves constructing a bridge (with Lego) across a local river. Part two is a game requiring use of all the skills useful to employees of the future and improves knowledge of local employment opportunities.

Helen Heggie, of STEMFirst, said: “We are delighted to have been allocated funding to support development and implementation of a STEM Skills Game for Cumbria schools. Following on from a similar successful Lancashire programme, we are excited to produce a relevant, informative and memorable experience for young people. This game and workshop with help students understand STEM opportunities in their locale and give them opportunities to meet inspirational STEM Ambassador volunteers from a wide range of Cumbria based STEM Employers”.

The second award this year of £34,020 goes to the Furness Education & Skills Partnership to publish and pilot its extended Building My Skills Programme (BMS) and to design a complimentary Furness Skills Strategy (to form a core community piece – enabling the joining up of local skills projects). Funding during 2019-20 has enabled BMS, a previously successful programme, to be expanded to form a seamless, extracurricular careers and employability programme for school children ranging from 5-16 years old. This funding will continue the development and implementation of the project over the next twelve months.

The two awards form part of Ørsted’s £600,000 Walney Extension Community Fund 25-year annual commitment, and is part of the company’s community engagement programme across the Lancashire and Cumbria coastlines. Earlier this year, the total funds invested into local community and educational projects reached £2M.

Imran Nawaz, Ørsted’s Stakeholder Advisor & Community Benefit Fund Manager, said: “The importance of levelling up local skills and knowledge cannot be underestimated. We’ve seen a tremendous growth in the offshore wind industry in recent years and we want to ensure that future generations are equipped to tap into the fantastic career opportunities available on their own doorsteps. It’s through the support of fantastic projects like these that we want to drive interest in the STEM subjects and the world of possibilities that they can open up.”

The Fund is administered by independent grant-making charity, GrantScape. For further information about the Walney Extension Community Fund, to see details of the projects awarded grants in earlier rounds and to find out how to apply, please click here