Becki transforms derelict property in Brandon to help her business and the community
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A village centre building in Brandon is returning to community use and a progressive small business is expanding thanks to the support of Warwickshire County Council.
The Learn2 Education Centre (LEC) at Forge Cottage, in Rugby Road, is now home to The Learn2 Group, an education and first aid training provider run by business owner Becki Coombe.
Becki identified the building, which was vacant and in serious need of refurbishment after decades as home to a fruit machine repair business, as having plenty of potential.
Just how much potential then became clear the more she explored the plot and now, backed by a Small Capital Grant from the County Council, Becki aims to make the renewed site a home for community use as well as her business’s meetings and training sessions.
The grant helped transform the property from dereliction into a delivery centre with training and conference spaces, a kitchen and breakout room and an outdoor space with potential to host all sorts of events.
Becki said: “The council’s support has been a huge help.
“We are absolutely thrilled with the refurbishment. People are loving the events we hold here and we couldn’t have done all the necessary work without the grant. The huge refurb jobs, like the roof and flooring and paving, look brilliant and those couldn’t have been done, certainly not to such high spec, without the support of the council.”
Becki has recently recruited a part-time wellbeing host/cleaner and is looking to add at least one new employee every year.
The Learn2 Group’s core business is highly constructive. A qualified and experienced teacher and trainer, Becki has been delivering educational and vocational courses to learners between the ages of 14 and 50 for over 15 years.
“I trained in education and worked predominantly with disaffected and disengaged young people. When I expanded with work within Mental Health training, I quickly realised that the majority of my proactive and positive behaviour management strategies and processes come right back around to mental health and wellbeing,” she said.
“We have an open calendar of physical first aid and mental health first aid courses for adults and young people and suicide prevention has also become quite a big focus.”
Now, parallel to those courses, Becki intends The LEC to be a welcoming venue for all aspects of village life.
“I am keen to integrate into the community,” she said.
“This is now a lovely building with great facilities and we are already hosting four professional business networking meetings, so the message is spreading. The village has been very welcoming and I’m really looking forward to being part of it for years to come.”
Warwickshire County Council’s Portfolio Holder for Economy & Place, Cllr Martin Watson said: “The Learn2 Group is bringing a derelict site in Brandon back into the most constructive use and I am delighted that the grant will benefit not only Becki’s business but also the community.”
To find out what other support is available to your business, call CWGrowth Hub on 0300 060 3747.