Record enrolment at Northumberland College’s Berwick Centre
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Record enrolment at Northumberland College’s Berwick Centre

Record enrolment at Northumberland College’s Berwick Centre  
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New courses and Leisure Learning boost numbers to all-time high

 
Northumberland College's Berwick Centre has enrolled a record number of students for the new academic year and there's still time for new students to sign up.  
More than 170 students have enrolled at Berwick this year. The increased number of courses on offer means students don't have to leave the local area to study the subjects they are interested in. 
Northumberland College Berwick Centre Manager, Tracy Girdwood, said: "We have students from Berwick, Eyemouth, Chirnside and Duns. 
"It's easier for young people from the Borders to come to Northumberland and they are still entitled to study for free and travel for free if they are aged between 16 and 18." 
The introduction of new courses, including exciting partnerships with Berwick's The Maltings Arts Centre and Berwick Rangers Football Club, have proved to be a big attraction for new students. 
One of the major developments is a raft of new arts courses, based at The Maltings, which give students access to the biggest theatre space between Edinburgh and Newcastle.  
 
The courses include BTEC Diplomas in Performing Arts and Music Production, media, make-up and art design. 
Tracy said: "As part of the courses, students have the opportunity of work experience within the box office and helping back stage. There is nothing else in the area like this at all." 
The arts courses are currently full-time, and once they are established, the college will look at offering additional courses. 
The link-up with Berwick Rangers Football Club will give young ambitious footballers aged 16-18 the opportunity to gain qualifications as well as develop their practical football skills. 
These are just two of the new offerings from the college's Berwick Centre, which is also investing in improving its construction centre and in a new motor vehicle centre that will open shortly. Earlier this year the College's Ashington campus was the first college in the country to become an approved MOT test centre.
 
Berwick is also one of the Northumberland College campuses taking part in the new concept of Leisure Learning, providing community-based courses for people seeking to expand their knowledge without working towards a qualification.  
Tracy said: "Leisure Learning is about things like sewing, photography, craft baking, and more. It's a whole new area of learning and courses will be run within the community so they are easily accessible." 
Utilising spaces such as community centres for learning sessions, Leisure Learning courses are open to everyone.  
As well as urging people to try Leisure Learning, the Berwick Centre is still signing up students for the academic year that started in September. 
"People should be excited about the chance to study on their doorstep," said Tracy 
 
The Berwick Centre runs a wide choice of courses, including Access to HE for people seeking the qualifications they need to meet the entry criteria for university level study. PGCEs for those seeking a teaching career and a range of Foundation Degrees in conjunction with university partners that include Newcastle University, are also on offer. 
 
More than 40 different apprenticeships are provided by Northumberland College - one of the largest number in the region - with strong links with employers in Northumberland and across the North East.    
 
Anyone interested in enrolling at the Berwick Centre for the current academic year should call 01289 302446 or email Berwick.centre@northland.ac.uk.