Work on new digital learning space gets under way

Work has begun on a new digital learning and skills hub in Cheltenham, which is being created by Gloucestershire Libraries.

The building in Oakley will offer the latest digital technology for all ages, with free facilities, training and support to help with literacy and learning skills.

Work got under way on 21 November 2022, with inside walls being demolished so far, and the facility is due to open its doors to the public in May 2023.

It will be a resource for the whole community, but with emphasis on various groups including local schools and students, early years children and isolated adults from local sheltered accommodation.

An ‘immersive reality’ room will provide a 3D, interactive digital experience where images are projected around the walls, ranging from children’s books to journeys into space, helping to engage children and other users in learning through interaction.

The facility will also offer free Wi-Fi and public access to PCs.

People will have the chance to preview the exciting immersive reality features at a community engagement event in January.

Suppliers Immersive Reality will be demonstrating a mini-version of the system on a bus, to be hosted at Cheltenham Town Football Club. Dates are yet to be finalised and more details will be shared in the new year. You can find out here more about what Immersive Reality offer.

The project was also boosted with a £48,000 grant from the Barnwood Trust Digital Inclusion Fund, which will go towards the immersive storytelling centre at Oakley.

The Gloucestershire-based charity awards funding to help address digital exclusion experienced by people with disabilities or mental health challenges.

The Oakley project was recognised by the charity as it intends to provide for the whole community, ensuring there is digital inclusion for everyone.

This funding was in addition to the award of £250,000 made in March 2022 by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sports through its Libraries Improvement Fund (LIF), delivered by Arts Council England, which enabled the project to go ahead.

Cllr Dave Norman, cabinet member for libraries at Gloucestershire County Council, said: “It’s great to see that work has started on this exciting new digital facility being created by Gloucestershire Libraries. It will provide the latest digital technology to help with skills and learning and will be an invaluable asset to the community.

“I’m grateful to Barnwood Trust for their support and am pleased they recognised that this project aims to offer digital inclusion for everyone as we are committed to delivering that.”

Scroll to Top