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Bedale shop to become 'centre for learning'

[Monday 20 February 2006]

A run down shop in the centre of Bedale is to be restored to its former glory.

Through a £370,000 scheme, the Market Place building will be given a new lease of life as it becomes a unique one stop shop for learning.

The premises will be the market town's new home for Business Support and Development - part of the York and North Yorkshire Business Link network- and other local training providers.

Bedale: Building the foundations for future investment
Bedale: Building the foundations for future investment

The new one stop shop will provide business and self employment support services, adult training, young enterprise training and offer help and advice to the unemployed through access to the Job Centre website.

It will also be able to direct people towards services from local councils, community education providers, fitness and leisure pursuits and training.

Cash for the scheme is coming from Hambleton District Council's Economic Development Fund, as well as a proposed £250,000 grant from Regional Development Agency, Yorkshire Forward. Confirmation of the grant is not expected until March.

The grade II listed building at number 17 Market Place has been empty for many years - falling into disrepair after a hardware store moved out.

Once converted and brought into use it is hoped the development will attract other investment into the centre of the town.

Nine full time jobs will be moved there - from other premises in Bedale - and another two created.

Plans are in the pipeline that could see Business Support and Development's old site in Bridge Street used as a pilot for a much needed youth facility in the town.

"This is a very exciting project for Bedale", said Hambleton's Cabinet Member for Prosperity, Councillor Ralph Andrew.

"Providing a single shop window to all training providers will both improve consumer choice and ensure better co-ordination between individual providers.

"And it sees us restoring a run down historic building rather than building afresh - an important part of regenerating market towns. We hope others will follow our lead and look to move into and restore more of our town centre buildings for business use".

It is hoped that work will commence to restore the building this spring.

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