Date: 
Tuesday, July 29, 2014 - 00:01

Independent education charity, the Edge Foundation has announced today that the Eden Project has been selected as one of the recipients of a grant from the Edge Innovation and Development Fund.

The grant fund was established in the year of Edge’s 10th anniversary to support innovation in technical, practical and vocational education.

The Eden Project has been awarded £82,000 to create a formal educational programme for the delivery of horticulture and food production located on the Eden site.  Working in partnership with Cornwall College Group and supported by the Cornwall Food Foundation, River Cottage and a number of renowned local food and horticulture sites, this project will offer students a balance of academic qualifications and real professional experience.

 The first programmes will start in September 2014 and will provide a variety of qualifications from apprenticeships through to foundation degrees.

Jan Hodges OBE, CEO, the Edge Foundation said:

“The Eden Project will be a beacon for technical, practical and vocational learning in horticulture and food production and we are delighted to be able to support them as they embark on this new venture.

“Edge has worked hard over the past decade, seeking a closer alignment between education and the skill needs of the UK economy. The grant fund has allowed us to reach out across the country so that the Eden Project, and the other grant recipients, can help this unfold at a local level; providing young people with many high-quality paths to success. ”

The Eden Project’s grant has been awarded in the first round of applications. Second round applications have now closed and successful bids will be announced by the end of the year.

David Harland, Eden Project Executive Director, said:

“The Eden Project has always been a centre for exploration and learning and this funding will allow us to take a big step forward. We aim to create an environment with learning by doing at its heart; preparing our students for an exciting and stable future in horticulture and food production.”

All applications to the grant fund must support Edge's Six Steps for Change and address at least two of the following three aims:

·         support the creation of new institutions

·         support the development of profound employer engagement

·         address areas of skills shortages for the UK economy

Additionally all projects will support effective dissemination of best practice in vocational education and training and be able to support further development or replication.

For more information about the Edge Innovation and Development Fund visit: www.edge.co.uk/projects/the-edge-foundation-innovation-and-development-fund.