Ken praises City Lit showcase

4th November 2005 at 00:00
Ken Livingstone took time out from his battle for control of colleges in London to make himself at home in Europe's largest adult education establishment.

The Mayor of London enjoyed music by students with learning difficulties at the City Lit, which has just opened the first adult education college to be purpose-built in 40 years, at a cost of pound;21 million, in Covent Garden.

The new building has specialist facilities for music, drama, art and fitness. It includes a roof-top sculpture court and garden, and a 120-seat theatre.

Mr Livingstone said: "I am a great supporter of access to learning for people of all ages and backgrounds.

"Adult and community learning are a vital part of the Government's plans to drive up achievement, widen participation and, most significantly, strengthen communities. City Lit has a long-standing reputation for offering a wide range of learning opportunities for adults in the capital."

Mr Livingstone's own association with City Lit goes back to his previous local government incarnation, at the Greater London Council. In the 1970s, he heard a group of its students performing outside County Hall.

Peter Davies, City Lit principal, said: "The building is a tremendous step forward for City Lit and demonstrates a commitment to adult learning in the capital.

"It supports the London Development Agency's economic development strategy which, by showcasing London as a place to live and work with access to all aspects of culture, aims to attract more businesses to the city."

Mr Livingstone, who led the GLC until it was abolished, intends to recapture control of education - at least at post-16 - through the agency, which is one of his responsibilities.

* steve.hook@tes.co.uk

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