Historic Shire Hall is hosting a one-off digital skills event for adults and children.
Stafford’s landmark building is the venue for the Microsoft UK Digital Skills Live event on May 24th, which will offer a day of practical help, advice and fun for people aged seven upwards.
Mark Winnington, Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet member for Economic Growth, said:
“I am very pleased that Shire Hall is being used for such an interesting event.
It highlights the building’s flexibility and follows on from the recommendations of a report by heritage experts the Prince’s Regeneration Trust, which suggested Shire Hall host occasional pop-up events such as this while a long-term sustainable use is identified.”
Suitable for teachers, students, apprentices, civil servants and business owners, the event is designed to provide basic digital skills, fire young people’s imaginations, or show businesses how the ‘cloud’ can help them.
Chris Perkins, Public Sector General Manager and Microsoft’s executive sponsor for Digital Skills, said:
“We’re delighted to be hosting our first Microsoft UK Digital Skills Live event in Staffordshire. Through our Digital Skills Programme we’re committed to helping everyone in the UK take a step up in their digital skills and prepare for the jobs of the future.
Our collaboration on this event with Staffordshire County Council is part of this ongoing commitment and our pledge make sure everyone in the UK has access to free, online digital literacy training.”
The event is coming to Stafford as part of Staffordshire County Council’s commitment to work with Staffordshire University to explore uses of technology to support the local economy and through the university’s Microsoft UK Digital Skills programme.
Andrew Proctor, Director of Digital Services at Staffordshire University, said:
“Our developing partnership with the County Council is already allowing us to connect with businesses and local people to share our digital expertise and to find new ways to make a real difference across Staffordshire.
As the UK’s leading digital university, we’re incredibly proud to be in the heart of the Stafford community at Shire Hall with this event.”
The long term future use of the Grade II* listed Shire Hall is currently under review and several local bodies and groups have suggested possible uses including an arts gallery and café, a museum devoted to the history of women’s emancipation and a museum dedicated to the history of the Royal Air Force.
The building is also going to be used as a medical centre for the IRONMAN 70.3 Staffordshire half-triathlon event on June 10th.
The county council is following a development blueprint suggested by the Prince’s Regeneration Trust (PRT), which is a national authority on identifying regenerative uses for old and historic buildings.
This summer independent experts will be examining the long term feasibility of ideas, including those put forward locally.
Mark Winnington said:
We want a solution that will work over many years, so the independent expert will look closely a range of ideas to examine their feasibility and financial viability.
We want the building to be busy, successful and able to sustain itself without placing a financial burden on local taxpayers, while contributing to the wider regeneration of Stafford town centre.”
Find out more about the Microsoft UK Digital Skills Live event by clicking here.