Football club classrooms to be opened on Saturday

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Two new classrooms built this summer at the New Manor Ground are to be officially opened on Saturday.

The Advertiser revealed in May how the club’s owners SR Education had started the work on the classrooms as part of their pledge to offer new opportunities to the public and have a greater presence within the community.

And with work now complete, Erewash MP Jessica Lee is set to officially open them before the club’s first-ever competitive game against Goole AFC on Saturday afternoon.

Ilkeston FC chairman Dave Mantle, who is also managing director of SR Education, said: “The classrooms are another major step forward for us and will open up all sorts of possibilities.

“It was always a part of our masterplan to create these – even before we took over the club.

“At the time when we were just running the academy we were having to rent facilities and transport people around, and it all got very messy.

“We needed a firm base from which to run the education project – especially with apprenticeship numbers at the football club increasing during the summer from 28 to 40 – and we now have tremendous scope for broadening our Ilkeston operation into new areas.”

SR chiefs say they hope the new classrooms will also become key places of learning – not just for the club’s expanding number of football apprentices – but also for adults wanting to enrol on further education courses.

They are currently looking closely at a number of adult schemes to meet that aim.

The firm already specialise in delivering Customer Services and Health & Social Care courses, and other topics under consideration are IT and Business Improvement Techniques.

The purpose-built classrooms include two separate study rooms which will both be fully equipped with state-of-the-art computer technology. The education centre also includes staff office accommodation and storage areas.

The rooms will accommodate up to 50 students at any one time and will be fully operational within two weeks of Saturdays opening .

Mr Mantle added: “Saturday is obviously a massive day for Ilkeston FC because we are playing our first-ever League match and we’re delighted that Jessica Lee has agreed to officially open the classrooms in advance of the kick off.

“As a business we are absolutely committed to providing opportunities for people living in this area and we believe that these facilities can have a major impact within the borough of Erewash.”