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Issue:- 26 January  2012

Half term events at National Museums Liverpool

THE fun doesn’t need to break the bank this half term with dozens of things to see and do at your local museum. At the National Museums Liverpool they have arranged an action-packed week of exhibitions and events from Monday, 13 February to Friday, 17 February 2012. The highlights include:-

Both ends of William Brown Street offer entertainment for the whole family. Channel your inner supermodel in the Big Booth at the Walker Art Gallery where families can dress up, play with props and strike a pose for the camera in a giant photo booth over 15 February to 17 February. Down the hill at World Museum visitors can have a close encounter with beasts of a prehistoric kind in the exhibition Age of the Dinosaur. It is open daily, this paid for exhibition is free for under 5s. Book online to avoid disappointment!!!

At the Albert Dock and waterfront the fun continues with craft activities inspired by the most famous ship of them all, the Titanic, at the Merseyside Maritime Museum over 14 February to 15 February. The International Slavery Museum is celebrating the half term with a free showing of Disney’s The Frog Princess on 16 February. While visitors can explore life in a Victorian court in the wonderful new Museum of Liverpool on 15 February.

The Lady Lever Art Gallery is continuing the Chinese New Year celebrations with a free performance of the Pagoda Chinese Youth Orchestra on 15 February.

Out of town, Sudley House is hosting an event for budding fashion designers on 16 February.

For more information log onto:-

 Academy targets the next generation of game developers

THE North Liverpool Academy has announced the 1st in a series of workshops set to inspire the North West’s next generation of game developers and digital creatives.  ‘I ♥ Gaming’ will take place on the 13 February 2012 at The North Liverpool Academy and has been designed specifically to appeal to students interested in a career in gaming or digital media.  Through a series of specialist workshops students will gain hands on experience in 3D design, interactive TV and gaming, game creation, how to design an app and start a gaming business. They will also be able to access advice from key figures from both national businesses and from the North West’s thriving gaming and digital sector.  The launch of the programme follows the announcement at the end of last year that the Academy has received government go-ahead to open The Studio. This new school will specialise in the computer gaming and digital sector and will allow students to achieve mainstream qualifications at the same time as developing key employability skills through work experience. The Studio will also work closely with local employers to provide paid work placements linked directly to employment opportunities in the local area. The school itself will feel more like a workplace than a school with a 9am-5pm working day and year round opening.  Kay Askew, Principal at The North Liverpool Academy commented:- "The predicted growth of the creative and digital sectors is going to deliver exciting and rewarding careers for those young people with the right qualifications and skills. The Studio School is set to improve the employment prospects for young people across the Liverpool City region by directly addressing this skills gap. I would urge any student interested in a career in the gaming or digital sector to come along to I ♥ Gaming. It will be a unique opportunity to meet some of they key players within the industry and explore the many options open to them in this fast growing industry."  Those interested in attending the event should visit:-

A further £7.9 million Regional Growth Fund for businesses

4 more businesses have successfully secured government support through the Regional Growth Fund (RGF) to create new jobs and boost growth in their local communities.

The 4 new firms are:-

► Nifco UK in Stockton on Tees, North East, which will use £1.65 million of RGF support towards an £11 million project to equip a new factory and help the company move into the market for electric vehicle batteries. This is expected to create 128 new jobs and safeguard 158 current jobs.

► e2v Technologies Limited in Chelmsford, Essex, will use £6.25 million of RGF support to boost its work developing microwave processing systems for a range of industrial applications in resource and energy intensive sectors. This is part of £29.4 million overall investment that is expected to create 336 new jobs at e2v and in its supply chain.

► Bentley Motors in Crewe, North West area, will receive £1.69 million to upskill existing employees and enable them to take on significant additional staff to support increased production. The total project cost is more than £4.5 million.

► Halifax Rack and Screw Cutting Co. Ltd, Halifax, Yorkshire, is the first project from round two of the fund to receive its funding and forms part of the Leeds City Region local enterprise partnership package. It will receive £200,000 towards a £1.5 million project to support modernisation of their production facilities to manufacture precision products for the construction, engineering, offshore and energy sectors. It will create 12 new jobs and safeguard seven jobs.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said:- "Creating long-term jobs and long-term growth is our number one priority for Britain. The Regional Growth Fund is already helping the economy grow in every region and across a range of industries. The 641 jobs announced today is more good news for people in Teesside, Essex, Crewe and Halifax. For too long the UK economy has been too focused on the City of London. The Regional Growth Fund is unlocking private sector investment, with at least £5 put in for every £1 of public money, letting businesses in Britain thrive."

Business Secretary Vince Cable added that:- "It's excellent news that 4 more companies are benefitting from the Regional Growth Fund. This support continues to provide a significant boost to the local economies, lever in significant investment and will create jobs where they are needed most. The projects will support advanced manufacturing techniques, enable R&D to develop new products and improve skills, all of which are vital to support growth and help rebalance the economy."

The projects, 3 from round 1 and 1 from round 2, successfully completed a period of necessary checks by the companies and the government to ensure the deals offer the best value for taxpayers.

So far £1.4 billion has been conditionally allocated to 164 projects through 2 bidding rounds, creating and safeguarding more than 330,000 jobs and is supported by more than £6 billion of private investment. Many round one bids are now up and running, with 29 projects overall having now received their funding. More projects are expected to complete the legal checks and receive their funding in the coming months.

The Chancellor announced in November an additional £1 billion will be added to the Regional Growth Fund, bringing the fund’s total value to £2.4 billion. Bidding for the next round of funding will be launched next month.

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