A community interest company set up to help young people find a path in life is being forced to shut down - a victim of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Slough Aspire based in Edinburgh Avenue on the Trading Estate was created in 2013 supported by Langley College, the young peoples' charity Learning to Work, solicitors Kidd Rapinet and SEGRO which runs the estate.

Its aim was to help young people develop their skills to match the town's businesses. It has been a huge success, helping 17,500 young people find careers - while supporting 5,500 training programmes for the unemployed. An estimated 20,000 people have visited its premises and 450 businesses have become involved.

Kate Webb, chairman of the Slough Aspire Board, said: “The very real and far-reaching impact of the Coronavirus pandemic has meant that the difficult decision to close Slough Aspire had to be taken."

The centre was forced to close during lockdown and has been unable since to keep financially afloat.

The Aspire Centre will remain empty until future plans for the site can be organised.

But Neil Impiazzi, Partnership Development Director for SEGRO, said its commitment to skills and employment training remained 'unwavering'.

He said: “Our recently launched Centenary Fund is being used to support local charities focussed on delivering training and skills programmes digitally to the Slough community during the ongoing pandemic. Additionally, we will be maintaining the former Slough Aspire training facility on the Slough Trading Estate and are exploring how we can repurpose it to continue to benefit the community and local businesses.

“We are incredibly proud of what Slough Aspire has achieved. It has been a force for good in Slough – for residents and businesses alike.”