A POPULAR open-air museum is investing in the future of its workforce after implementing free business skills training.

Dozens of employees at Beamish, The Living Museum of the North, near Stanley, are benefitting from free training at a time of redevelopment for the museum, which recently received a £10.9m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

The training, which includes short courses on SEO, Excel and Microsoft Access, is supporting the ‘Remaking Beamish’ project, which plans to boost visitor numbers and create more jobs at the attraction.

The free courses are being delivered by Gateshead College as part of Go Grow, a regional skills and enterprise programme, led by the college in partnership with 30 local training providers.

The programme was launched after £15m of funding was secured by Gateshead College from the European Social Fund through the Education and Skills Funding Agency.

Michelle Lagar, Remaking Beamish project officer (Skills), said: “We were all amazed at how hassle-free the process was.

“The courses were delivered within a month of us contacting Gateshead College and took place at our convenience in the workplace. The college were very proactive and we have now built a great working relationship with them.”

She added: “The training delivered by Gateshead College was tailored to our needs, these bespoke courses have been well received by the staff that attended and they are now keen to apply what they have learnt in their job roles. The main aim for us all is to continue to provide the best possible experiences for visitors.”