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1st April 1999

The following article appeared in today's The Cornishman:

University to the fore

The possibility of a University for Cornwall is now even closer, thanks to the county winning Objective 1 status.

Vice-Chancellor of Exeter University; Sir Geoffrey Holland who lives at Carbis Bay, said the granting of Objective 1 was simply the end of phase one of the battle to regenerate Cornwall.

He said a new university was almost certain to be centred on two areas - Falmouth and ‘brownfleld’ sites around Camborne, Pool and Redruth.

"There is a lot is a lot of work to be done" he said.

"We have to produce projects of quality. There must be a small number of very big and worthwhile projects and we must all pull together to see them through."

Sir Geoffrey was one of the leading figures in the fight to have a University for Cornwall built at Trereife, Penzance, but revealed: "When we went to the Millennium Commissioners there were more letters against the project than for it - that way disaster lies."

Sir Geoffrey said matching money would have to be found within Cornwall if the county was to have a university.

The proposed Penzance campus was estimated to cost £60 million. The cost of building on brownfield sites, as was likely in the Camborne and Redruth area, would be higher.

Sir Geoffrey made his comments at the launch of a new major work, "The Cornish Overseas" by Dr Philip Payton, director of the Institute of Cornish Studies.

Dr Payton said that if Objective 1 was going to work in Cornwall, there had to be "strategic vision and grand projects.

"The first that comes to the fore as a grand project is a University for Cornwall," he said.

"A university would bring all sorts of economic benefits. One of the things that concerns me with Objective 1 is that Cornwall was successful in attracting funding. in the 1970's but in some respects it was frittered away. It created jobs for a time, but the underlying problems were not addressed. The money created a veneer of prosperity for the time it was available.

"We have to be sure we are spending Objective 1 money wisely, creating real strategic change which will benefit the future. A university would be just such a grand project."

Copyright © Cornish Weekly Newspapers Ltd 1999

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