Foundation stone is laid as Knowledge
Spa building begins to take shape
The foundation stone for the new multi-professional education,
research and business development facility on the Royal Cornwall
Hospital site, known as 'The Knowledge Spa', was
laid today (9th June) by Chairman of the South West Regional
Development Agency, Juliet Williams.
Juliet Williams, who was appointed South West RDA Chairman
last December, is on a two-day trip to Cornwall which will
include visits to Newlyn this afternoon and St Austell tomorrow.
Alongside the educational benefits, the Knowledge Spa is
expected have a major impact on the local economy attracting
upwards of 400 jobs and bringing in around £30 million
into Cornwall within 5-10 years of its opening. Around 250
of the jobs will be created through research and business
start-up activity which are expected to contribute £22
million to the local economy.
The Knowledge Spa will cost around £14 million to construct
and is the result of a partnership between the NHS, the University
of Plymouth, the Duchy Health Charity Limited, Cornwall County
Council and others. The partnership has been greatly enhanced
by a £2.5 million investment announced at the end of
last year from the South West Regional Development Agency
and the Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles
As well as creating a centre for research and development
and start-up facility for health-related businesses, the building
will be home to the Cornwall campuses of the Peninsula Medical
School (PMS) and the Institute of Health Studies (shortly
to be known as the Faculty of Health and Social Work) of the
University of Plymouth. It will also provide a base for centres
for lifelong learning for health and social care staff, public
access to information and learning resources such as health
promotion and patient information.
Chairman of the South West Regional Development Agency, Juliet
Williams, said: "The Knowledge Spa will bring huge long-term
benefits to the South West economy by fostering close ties
between education and business, building on the spirit of
innovation for which our region is renowned. The South West
RDA is committed to developing our knowledge economy which
is why we are investing not only in this excellent new facility
but also in the Combined Universities in Cornwall."
Carleen Kelemen, Director of the Objective One Partnership,
said: "Objective One is about investing in Cornwall's
future by providing our people and businesses with the opportunities,
skills and facilities they need to prosper. The Knowledge
Spa will achieve all these things and I'm confident it
will make a lasting contribution to Cornwall's prosperity."
The Knowledge Spa building is the first phase of the Well
Cornwall Project which aims to maximise the benefits for Cornwall
from the establishment of the Peninsula Medical School. A
subsequent phase will be the development of a science park
with a medical emphasis to ensure that the research and business
innovation taking place within the Knowledge Spa building
can be further developed and exploited for the greatest economic
benefit to Cornwall.
Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust, Chief Executive, Brian Milstead,
said: "This is a major investment in Cornwall's
future and will bring immense benefits to health care, particularly
in terms of the recruitment and retention of staff, as well
as being a catalyst to the economic regeneration of Cornwall."
The steel frame for the building is well under way and the
foundation stone laying ceremony, which was kindly sponsored
by the building contractor, Mowlem, marks the start of the
next stage of construction. It has been designed by local
architects Poynton Bradbury Wynter Cole and will be a landmark
feature at the entrance to the Royal Cornwall Hospital site.
It will be equipped with the latest technology in broadband
information and communication will play a major role in providing
students with access to the latest developments and cutting
edge research around the world.
The Knowledge Spa will be managed by the Royal Cornwall Hospitals
Trust and the building is due for completion ahead of the
first students arriving in autumn 2004
Development Fund (ERDF):
ERDF is one of our four funds that make up
the Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of
Scilly, which is making £314 million of investment available
for developing the local economy between 2000 and 2006. ERDF
||Help reduce the gap between development levels and
living standards among the regions and the extent to which
least-favoured regions are lagging behind.
||Help redress the main regional imbalances in the European
Community by participating in the development and structural
adjustment of regions whose development is lagging behind,
and the social conversion of regions.
For further information please contact:
Press & Public Relations Office
Royal Cornwall Hospital
Telephone: 01872 252934
Objective One Partnership Office
Truro TR1 2UD
Tel: 01872 241379
Fax: 01872 241388
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