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Prescott's sustainable centre set for Leeds

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The deputy prime minister John Prescott has announced that the new Academy for Sustainable Communities (ASC) will be based in Leeds.

Speaking at the Delivering Sustainable Communities Summit in Manchester on Tuesday (1 February), Prescott hailed the ASC as a 'place of new ideas and thinking'.

He said that he hoped the ASC would become an 'international centre of excellence' for skills aimed at helping and supporting those working towards sustainable communities.

During its first six months, the centre will be headed by Chris Murray, CABE's current director of learning and development.

'The new academy has huge potential and I want to attract the best people. I want it to join forces with the Congress for the New Urbanism and other leading centres around the world, and to have a really strong European outlook, ' Prescott added.

It is proposed that the ASC will focus on strategic lobbying, influencing and sharing research, rather than directly providing training.

According to the ODPM, the academy will also 'inspire and enable people across different fields to work together' and will be a 'catalyst for change, a source of leadership and innovation - a centre for listening and learning'.

The move comes less than a year after the Egan Skills Review, which called for the new national centre.

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