Published: June 20, 2021 | Updated: June 21, 2021

English language schools hail £100k grant from BCP Council as vote of confidence in the sector

By Andrew Diprose, editor

A membership organisation for accredited language schools in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole says a £100,000 Bounce Back Challenge Fund grant from BCP Council is a vote of confidence in the sector.

RALSA – the Regional Accredited Language Schools Association – will use the grant to deliver a range of marketing activities designed to promote the area’s English language schools and their services.

The association, which has existed for more than 40 years, was established on the fundamental principles of promoting Bournemouth as a centre of educational excellence.

The primary objective of all RALSA schools is to offer quality English language tuition to international students in safe, secure and professionally accredited institutes.

The delivery of the innovative project is expected to help boost awareness of the area’s English language training providers around the world as well as generate pride in the local area and provide long term benefits for the wider business community.

David Jones, Chair of RALSA, pictured left, said: “We’re delighted to receive this grant which will help us to spread the word in our target markets about Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole as the ideal destination for international students to learn English.

“This will ensure the continued vitality of the local business community and support BCP Council’s plans to drive growth across the region.

“Second only to London in terms of student numbers per head of population, the conurbation of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole has long been famous internationally for the quality of its education provision for international clients.

“But also as the destination of choice for students wishing to combine their English studies with a range of lively activities in a vibrant seaside location.

“This grant represents a vote of confidence in the English language schools sector and will give the members of RALSA an excellent opportunity to promote themselves more widely at a key strategic moment.’’

The project will promote the BCP area to over 5,000 specialist international educational travel agents selling courses to students in more than 94 individual country markets through:

  • Virtual familiarisation trips to visit the BCP area and BCP English Language Schools electronically.
  • Face to face familiarisation trips for in-person visits to the BCP area and BCP English Language Schools once international travel permits these.
  • Business to business events that bring schools and agents together as well as through social media channels.

The project is focused on directing the attention of international agents, students, their families and friends towards the BCP area and its English language schools.

School supply chain businesses in the BCP area in accommodation, restaurants, sports venues, entertainment, travel and retail outlets will also benefit from the increased business achieved by the project.

Cllr Philip Broadhead, pictured right, Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Economy at BCP Council, said: “Following a competitive application process, we are pleased to award this grant to RALSA.

“This project is just one of many innovative initiatives that our latest package of discretionary business support will now bring to life.

“It will contribute towards Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole’s reputation as a place where businesses can continue to flourish and grow.’’