Alexandra’s new Learning Hub is open for business.

The facility, a collaboration between Otago Polytechnic (Central Campus), Central Otago Reap and Alexandra Community House, opened last Friday.

The hub concept was put forward by the groups after the town’s information centre was relocated from Central Stories to the Unichem Alexandra Pharmacy.

Central Otago District Council called for expressions of interest from groups wanting to use the vacant space and selected the Learning Hub as its preferred option.

Dozens of people attended the ceremony, which included a blessing and waiata by Francie Diver.

Central Otago Reap manager Bernice Lepper said the aim of the Learning Hub was to give people a chance to grow their confidence and learn new skills, while providing them with pathways towards future study or employment.

The Learning Hub is also a space where people can share their knowledge and skills.

She said it would be a place people in the district could run classes, specialising in their passions.

‘‘We see [the Learning Hub] as an opportunity for us all to grow and increase the wellness of our community.’’

She thanked the council for the opportunity to establish the facility in Alexandra.

‘‘We are very excited about this collaboration and the chance to work together in this Learning Hub.’’

Mrs Lepper said there had been talk for some time about the polytechnic having a place in Alexandra so was pleased to see that happening.

Otago Polytechnic Cromwell campus manager Kelly Gay agreed.

‘‘We are really glad to be in a collaboration with others.

‘‘For us it’s about access to education and it’s a new way of connecting with our communities.’’

Alexandra Community House manager Carole Gillions said a key focus of the facility was to provide space to connect people where they could learn or pass on their knowledge.

That concept would help the community grow and develop, she said.

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