Bedford Borough Council HQ Image:Bedford Borough Council

Bedford Borough Council has been awarded £280,299 from the ‘ESOL for Integration Fund‘ (EFIF) to deliver a year of English language classes and outreach to help address the barriers which prevent people learning English.

The Bedford ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) Service has now been awarded over £600,000 in total, to deliver and coordinate this much-needed service in partnership with local community groups with previous awards of £180,000 in 2019/20 and £188,000 in 2020/21.

Mayor Dave Hodgson said:

“This further funding award really is a mark of the incredible work that our Bedford ESOL Advice Service has done, despite the pandemic, to help reach out and encourage people to learn English who may have otherwise found it hard to access that support.

“Community groups told us they needed more resources invested into community-led English language provision, so we are pleased that the majority of this grant award, as with last year, will be used by local community groups to meet ESOL needs in our communities.

“I am really proud of the work that our English Language Partnership does, and my thanks go to our partners in this project: ACCM UK, Kings Arms Project, Noah Academy, PBIC and 1mpact.”

Language can be a huge barrier for people to access vital services. Anyone wanting to learn or improve their English can get help to do so via the Bedford ESOL Advice Service website.