Adapting to changing times

Over the last year, we’ve been reviewing our presence in Wells, based on the existing and future demand of the facilities the centre offers. As a result, the decision has been taken to close the Wells centre, located in the Portway Annexe.

Over the years we’ve established a strong partnership network in the Wells area and we continue to collaborate with this network. We’re confident that, via this partnership network, our core offer for local residents will be maintained.

As an exciting development, we’re currently looking to increase our presence in the Mendip area and are exploring other venue options in the district. We intend to extend our reach across Mendip rather than reduce it, and the closure of our Wells centre will support this aim.

In the meantime, adult and community learning provision for Wells continues through our Community Learning Partnership, distance learning and at our other centres across Somerset. SS&L’s current Wells based students continue to learn via distance learning or are currently studying at one of our other centres. Both staff and students have adapted well to the challenges faced and have shown enormous resilience, with SS&L providing additional support wherever necessary.

Whilst many learning opportunities do take place online and, indeed, are a necessity during the current pandemic, we’re aware that there will still be a need for face to face learning going forward. To outline our planned presence and provision in Wells during 2020/21, we have already agreed to partner with The Elim Connect Centre and Heads Up. We’re also in discussions with The Project Factory, Bishops Palace and Wells Cathedral regarding community learning courses.

Susie Simon-Norris, CEO of SS&L says, “SS&L are committed to providing high quality learning opportunities for people to develop their skills and confidence across Somerset. In these very difficult times, we are ensuring that we have targeted our resources to achieve this aim. We are focused on supporting people and employers to aid Somerset’s economic recovery and we are also working with partners to support individual health and wellbeing. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to start your learning journey.”

We would also like to reassure local residents that contractors will visit Portway Annexe in the near future, in order to tidy up the outside area. Later this autumn, the building will be handed back to the owners, Somerset County Council. Any questions regarding the future use of Portway Annexe should be directed to SCC. Staff previously based in Wells are now working from home or have been relocated to other centres.

We’ll keep you updated with any changes but if you have any questions or concerns, please contact one of our team on 0330 332 7997, use our website Live Chat or the contact us form. You can also stay connected with us for updates.