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25.09.07
Celebrating business and graduate success in Cornwall

One hundred graduates and Cornish employers gathered for the second annual Unlocking Cornish Potential (UCP) Celebration Event at the Tremough campus on Friday (September 21st) to recognise the accomplishments of the project's top achievers of 2006/7. UCP is Combined Universities in Cornwall's (CUC) graduate placement scheme.

 Welcomed by UCP Project Manager, Allyson Glover, guests celebrated the completion of the year's successful projects with the awarding of certificates and with presentations by graduates, project officers and businesses – including TRAC Services of Camborne, which has found the scheme so beneficial that it has employed six UCP graduates since July 2005.

 Carleen Kelemen, Director of the Objective One partnership office, was among the prominent figures supporting the event and acknowledging the huge contribution that the UCP graduates have made to the local economy. In an upbeat speech she commented: "The Cornwall of today is just about the best place to be working, studying, bringing up a family and building dreams. Objective One projects have provided workspaces, training, education opportunities, research funds, broadband and improved transport links which have enabled partnerships to work together to make Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly one of the fastest growing economies in the UK. Projects like Unlocking Cornish Potential and the Combined Universities in Cornwall Business Development Team have played a large role in reaching out to businesses and expanding the opportunities for many in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly – and long may that continue."

51 graduates were nominated in six award categories and winners were chosen by UCP Project Manager Allyson Glover in conjunction with the graduates' mentors and project officers for showing an outstanding contribution to business success in terms of increasing turnover, profitability, market share and business development.

Winners of the categories were:

James Gazzard of WES Ltd in Redruth was presented with the award for Best Marketing Impactby Andy MacDonald of Business Link for his successful implementation of a comprehensive marketing strategy which led the company into a new and expanding market.

James Brennan of Hydra SW in Indian Queens won the award for Contribution to Business Growth, presented by Nigel Tipple of CPR Regeneration for his project integrating a state of the art CNC Punching Machine into production; improving efficiency and quality and reducing costs.

Katherine Doerrs of Green Peninsula Co Ltd in St Austell was recognised for her Contribution to the Knowledge Economy Through Innovation. Katherine developed innovative solutions to the ever increasing requirements for renewable energy and ensured her ongoing career will benefit both the company and the industry.

John Berry, Chief Executive of Cornwall Enterprise awarded Simon Dass of T Plan in Camborne with the trophy for Best Use of ICT in recognition of his project creating software for use in the area of test management, which is now available to the market and being used by customers.

Martin Latham of Seacore in Gweek triumphed in the Excellence in Project Management category and was congratulated by Prof Keith Atkinson, Provost of University of Exeter's Cornwall campus. Martin's skills lead to the development of a graduate training programme and the implementation of improved business systems in the engineering department.

Carleen Kelemen awarded Mark Jones of Dash (SW) Ltd in Redruth with the trophy for Catalyst for Business Growth in recognition of his successful development and launch of their new website www.dash4it.co.uk which has significantly benefited turnover.

For 2007 the winners' award trophies were specially designed by Laura Carnell, 23, a Contemporary Crafts student at University College Falmouth who has started her own craft business, Rara Design (www.rara-design.co.uk).

Since 2004 UCP has placed 226 graduates with local companies on placements which last for up to a year, focusing both on improving a specific area of the business and providing real life working experience and opportunity for the graduate. 72% of UCP graduates have been offered full time roles with their employers at the end of their projects. The scheme, which is managed by Cornwall College, has been backed by Objective One.

CUC Executive Director Dr Ian Tunbridge sent a message of congratulations and ongoing support for the project via video link commenting: "The CUC initiative is heralded across the EU as an outstanding example of how HE providers can work successfully together and alongside business to benefit the social and economic fortunes of a county. Within this the UCP project has played an extremely important role and I would like to stress to you all today how committed we are to continuing and indeed expanding their work. I would like to congratulate everyone who has been involved in achieving so much already – the graduates, the project team and the employers."

The UCP team can be contacted on 01209 617664 or via their website www.unlockingcornishpotential.co.uk.

For further information please contact Emma Stallard, Combined Universities in Cornwall PR and Communications Officer on 07717 377581 or email emma.stallard@cuc.ac.uk.

The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has invested in the Combined Universities in Cornwall (CUC) project, both Phase 1 and Phase 2, through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Social Fund (ESF). Unlocking Potential is managed by CornwallCollege, a partner of the CUC.

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Editor's notes:

The Unlocking Cornish Potential (UCP) project is part of the Combined Universities in Cornwall (CUC) initiative and is managed by Cornwall College. UCP builds on 5 years of highly successful, ESF funded activity by the University of Plymouth. The UCP project seeks to measurably improve the efficiency, competitiveness and growth potential of SMEs in Cornwall through the placement of graduates in companies to undertake business development projects. These projects can last from 6 to 12 months.

The Combined Universities in Cornwall is a dynamic and visionary partnership that is one of the driving forces behind Cornwall's economic renaissance. This partnership combines the Universities of Exeter and Plymouth, University College Falmouth, The Open University, The College of St Mark & St John, and the Peninsula Medical School, with Cornwall's Further Education colleges - Cornwall College, Truro College and Penwith College. It aims not only to provide the students of the future with more choice and greater opportunities, but also to boost the economic fortunes of the region for the benefit of one and all.

The CUC initiative has been invested in by the Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, the South West Regional Development Agency, Cornwall County Council and the Higher Education Funding Council for England.

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Clare Morgan
Media Relations Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01872 223439

cmorgan@cornwall.gov.uk

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