LibDem leader visited East Belfast learning project

ALLIANCE Assembly candidate, Councillor Naomi Long, was joined by Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy MP recently to see how lifelong learning is helping improve the lives of people in East Belfast.

Mr Kennedy visited the East Belfast Community Education Centre, Arches Centre, and was accompanied by Cllr Long, who sits on the management board, and Alliance leader David Ford.

Mr Kennedy also met with the Ballymacarrett Arts and Cultural Society at same time. The group is involved in cross community work and was behind the ‘Hope’ sculpture at an East Belfast interface.

Cllr Long said: “Lifelong learning is vitally important in today’s competitive employment climate, particularly in areas suffering from deprivation. Training and qualifications are crucial for increasing opportunities in employment, and the East Belfast Community Education Centre has helped provide an invaluable service, winning the nationally recognised Queen’s Award for Excellence in Education last year.

“As Alliance’s education spokesperson I believe this is a very progressive and positive facility for people that the system has failed, and helps gets them back into education.

“East Belfast has suffered badly from job losses in recent times, and I am pleased to welcome Mr Kennedy to see how this community-based approach to education is benefiting the area.”

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