BME-led housing association helps Leeds IT skills business find space to grow

Training 26 (Demo)

A specialist IT and business skills training provider in Leeds has taken on more space to meet demand at a business facility run by a BME-led housing association.

Based in Leeds Media Centre, Training 26 offers classes and bespoke tutoring in Microsoft Office, Adobe, Sage and related IT packages, together with a comprehensive range of management and personal development courses for individuals and SMEs.

The company has now taken additional space at the Unity Enterprise-run facility, one of three business locations in Leeds owned and managed by the not-for-profit subsidiary of BME-led housing association Unity Homes & Enterprise, which provides 130 managed workspaces for around 80 employers including charitable groups.

Established in 1999, Training 26 was taken over almost two years ago by Mike Cunningham, a technical consultant with vast experience in IT, and Angela Jones who held a customer facing role in the property industry.

Since then, the pair have expanded the scope of courses on offer and, six months ago, became a Pearson VUE© Authorised Test Centre, allowing the firm to deliver computer-based exam delivery services for some of the biggest names in IT including Microsoft, CompTIA, Cisco, Oracle, HP, and VMware.

“Training 26 is a shining example of the first-class work going on across our business centres,” said Ali Akbor, chief executive of Unity Homes & Enterprise.

“Unity’s ethos is based on improving people’s lives. Social and economic regeneration are of equal importance to physical regeneration, thereby empowering local communities to help themselves. Training 26 helps people – in the business, public and social sectors – to improve their skills, progress their careers and contribute to the development of their colleagues.

“I am particularly pleased that, in common with other valued Unity Enterprise tenants, Training 26 has taken on a local apprentice. It is terrific to have the company operating at the heart of Leeds Media Centre.”

Adrian Green, Unity Enterprise manager, added: “Mike and Angela are a pleasure to deal with. I have also spoken to a number of their clients as they come and go from Leeds Media Centre and have heard nothing but positive comments about Training 26.

“Mike and Angela’s absolute commitment to the task in hand is second to none.  They deserve every bit of success they get, and I know that many more achievements lie ahead as they to expand their business offer.”

Training 26 director, Mike Cunningham added: “The move to Leeds Media Centre has worked incredibly well and we are happy to be taking more space in an excellent building. We recently recruited our first apprentice who is already proving to be a great asset for Training 26.

“As a one-stop shop for IT and business training needs, we are able to source the best trainers available and have plans to add new courses in the months ahead.  Our clients enjoy the modern facilities at Leeds Media Centre where parking is plentiful and there is the option to open on Saturdays.

“Whilst most of the businesses we cater for are based in the North, our reach is expanding nationally. These are exciting times and it’s good to be part of the Unity family.”


Main Image: Training 26 office manager Angela Jones with (from right to left) Unity Homes & Enterprise chief executive Ali Akbor; Training 26 director Mike Cunningham; and Unity Enterprise manager Adrian Green


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