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The decision on Millennium Commission funding of the Cornwall Campus, to the tune of some £40 million, will not be announced before the Spring. However, Sir Geoffrey Holland, Exeter University's Vice-Chancellor, does not believe the delay to be a precursor of disappointment. In The Cornishman he is reported as explaining "They are going through things with a fine tooth-comb - they have to, as there is a lot of money involved". He adds "It is clear we have support from the Commission, whose team members have given us every possible assistance in ensuring that we present our project in the best possible way. They are highly expert people, almost in the mode of auditors and I regard them as constructive to our cause. At no time have they questioned the choice of Trereife as the campus site - in fact they have visited and think it is a wonderful place for a campus. They have asked us questions, but they have been fair and well-reasoned questions, and they have received the right answers."
Of the remaining half of the £80 million capital funding, the £20 million bid to the European Commission is on course. Sir Geoffrey said that the cash has been "ring-fenced" and a decision is again expected in the next few months. In addition, private sector funding has been arranged, "the banks" being praised for their enthusiasm and and commitment to the campus scheme.
With a General Election looming, the need is greater than ever, Sir Geoffrey said, for pressure to be maintained. It is up to each and every individual to press home the case, not only with their prospective Parliamentary candidates but with the Millennium Commissioners including its chairman, the Rt. Hon Virginia Bottomley, and the deputy Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon Michael Heseltine.
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