Sainsbury's has opened up 3,000 square feet of previously redundant space at the back of its Calcot Savacentre in Reading to make space for a state of the art IT training facility for the local community. Sainsbury's new concept development manager and project leader for the IT initiative Sally Hobbs said the instore college' had proved so popular that academic institutions across the country had contacted her about setting up similar facilities at other Sainsbury outlets. Sainsbury's benefits from extra footfall while the colleges gain rent free space to set up facilities outside a normal college environment. The Calcot site has 80 computer terminals. While not every Sainsbury's outlet would be suitable for this type of facility, there are a handful of sites with the spare capacity to handle an IT centre, said Hobbs. Situated behind the instore café in warehouse space no longer utilised by the company, the Calcot facility is jointly managed by Reading and Newbury colleges, and offers more than 200 courses ranging from basic word processing to advanced computer programming. "This is a really pioneering project about bringing education to people rather than the other way round," said Hobbs. "More than 500 people have signed up since the project started this month, well above the targets set by the colleges." {{NEWS }}