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University of Cornwall News

4th June 1998

The following articles appeared in today's The Cornishman:

Campus: It's no again to buying Trereife

THE dream of a university campus for Penwith was finally shattered this week when district councillors voted for a second time against buying theTrereife site.

At a closed-doors meeting on Tuesday, they voted 24 to seven against the purchase of the £1 million site for Exeter University to carry out the development.

The last ditch attempt to save the Trereife site came on the back of last month's vote against its purchase when councillors decided that the benefits of the scaled-down project did not justify the cost.

This week's meeting was called by Penwith councillor John Payne, who last year organised a petition signed by 20,000 people in support of the university.

The council had set aside £1 million from the sale of housing stock to help develop the proposed campus but Exeter University wanted it to buy the land outright.

Councillors argued that they could not take the risk of spending public money on the site when only 25 jobs were certain to be created with the transferof the Camborne School of Mines.

Council chairman William Trevorrow said: "The original decision not to proceed still stands.

"We stated last time that we were fully in support of a university campus in Cornwall as a whole."

Exeter University says it has now abandoned its Penzance development and last week Vice Chancellor Sir Geoffrey Hdlland met with other education leaders to discuss a new site for a Cornish campus.

The meeting was arranged by Richard Caborn, minister for the regions and hosted by Jane Henderson, director of the Government office for the South West.

Other representatives included Prof Alan Livingston, principal from Falmouth College of Art and chief executives of the Higher Education Funding Council and the Further Education Funding Council.

An Exeter University spokesman said: "This meeting was the first step in trying to develop a joint approach. It is too early to say what will develop from that but there is a spirit of optimism."

Following the Penwith meeting on Tuesday, councillor Colin Lawry said: "Exeter University have not fulfilled the promises they gave us in the first place.

"The Trereife project is dead in the water but we remain committed to the enhancement of education facilities in Cornwall."

Tim Le Grice, owner of the Trereife site, said the council had been placed in the "invidious" position of being asked to purchase the site as a "holding operation".

He said the cost of purchasing the site was not seen to be a factor in the rejection of the university campus scheme as the value had been accepted initially.

"Whatever has happened over the last two or three years the fact remains that a University in Cornwall remains very much a possibility and I hope that a university at a suitable alternative site in Cornwall will become a prime objective for all concerned," he said.

Copyright © Cornish Weekly Newspapers Ltd 1998

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