An adult learning service has been shortlisted in a national education awards for helping thousands of people into education.

Lancashire Adult Learning, a division of Nelson and Colne College Group, has been named as finalist in the Association of Colleges’ Beacon Awards in the widening participation category.

Lancashire Adult Learning (LAL), which is rated by Ofsted as Outstanding, aims provide learning opportunities for adults across the region.

The Brierfield-based college is one of the UK’s largest adult community learning providers, which engages more than 14,000 learners.

Some of those learners are vulnerable members of the community, with more than 2,000 courses delivered through more than 300 venues across Lancashire.

Having trusted partners such as Lancashire County Council in 2022/2023 meant that the LAL supported more than 10,000 learners to achieve their education goals.

After the announcement, Lisa O’Loughlin, the principal and chief executive of Nelson and Colne College Group, said: “To say I am proud of the team and this nomination is an understatement.

“The work at the Lancashire Adult Learning does in increasing participation in education across the county is truly remarkable.

“This recognition by the AoC is truly deserved and we look forward to the award ceremony next year.”

The Association of Colleges represents tertiary, specialised, sixth form, and further education colleges across the country.

Every year, the Association of Colleges' Beacon Awards honour the colleges with the greatest and most creative practises.

The awards program's objective is to highlight and illustrate the profound effects that universities have on both the communities they serve and their students.

Mark White, chair of AoC’s Charitable Trust, added: “The AoC Beacon Awards showcase exactly why colleges are so important to every community and why people should value them.

“This award recognises the critical role undertaken by boards, governor and governance professionals developing capacity for sustained improvement in the quality of provision for students.”

The winners of the AoC Beacon Award will be announced in Spring 2024.