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01.10.04
Cornwall's new campus opens for business

Cornwall is celebrating the completion of the £68 million Tremough Campus near Falmouth.

From Monday 4 October some 2,000 students from the University of Exeter in Cornwall and Falmouth College of Arts will begin their studies at the campus as part of a unique collaboration between the two institutions. Within five years, student numbers at Tremough are expected to reach 3,000.

Tremough is the latest and largest project to be invested in through Cornwall's Objective One Programme. It is part of the Combined Universities in Cornwall initiative, a partnership of all the universities and colleges offering university-level courses in Cornwall.

The development of the Tremough Campus has enabled the University of Exeter in Cornwall to expand its activities in the area and provide a new home for the world famous Camborne School of Mines. This year's 'freshers' have chosen from a distinctive range of courses that draw upon Cornwall's natural assets, including degrees in Renewable Energy, Biology and Geography.

Falmouth College of Arts, one of the leading specialist institutions in the country, already runs courses in Media and Design at Tremough, including degrees in Broadcasting, Journalism, Garden Design, Textile Design and Contemporary Crafts. The College had reached capacity at its Woodlane campus in Falmouth and bought Tremough in 1999 to create space for expansion. The Media Centre was the first new academic building to be opened on the campus, in 2001, and Design students were the first users of the latest building, when the Design Centre section was completed in October 2003.

With its contemporary lines and innovative materials, the new academic building, which is shared by Exeter and Falmouth, is expected to rank alongside the Eden project and Tate St Ives as one of the key symbols of Cornwall's economic and cultural renaissance. Architects Capita Percy Thomas used the sloping ground at Tremough to great advantage, creating an ambitious and complex structure that merges into the hillside. The 12,000 square metre roof is covered with grasses and heathland plants, echoing Cornwall's native flora. The construction contract was awarded to Sir Robert McAlpine and has been completed on schedule and within budget. Many local companies worked on the build, and local granite and other materials were used wherever possible.

Facilities on the campus include lecture theatres, seminar rooms, laboratories, broadcasting and recording studios, design studios, a bar, a 450-seat restaurant and a multi-purpose fitness centre (which will also be open to members of the public).

The University of Exeter in Cornwall and Falmouth College of Arts have spent an additional £17 million to build on-campus apartments for 500 students. The student accommodation at Tremough is among the most desirable in the UK, boasting telephone and data connections, en-suite bathrooms, satellite TV and storage for bikes and surfboards. The contractors were Midas Projects (UK) Ltd, part of Westcountry based Midas Group.

The Tremough Campus is operated by Tremough Campus Services, a company established jointly by Falmouth College of Arts and the University of Exeter in Cornwall for that purpose.

The development at Tremough is part of a massive expansion of university-level education in the area being co-ordinated by the Combined Universities in Cornwall (CUC). CUC has received financial support from the European Union (through the Objective One programme for Cornwall and Scilly), UK Government (through the South West Regional Development Agency and the Higher Education Funding Council for England) and Cornwall County Council.

The money has also been used to construct new buildings to deliver higher education at Cornwall's further education colleges, including two at Truro College and five at Cornwall College's sites. By providing more young people with opportunities to develop and use their skills in Cornwall and by helping businesses to tap into academic expertise and facilities, the CUC aims to provide a major boost to Cornwall's long-term economic future.

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Editor's notes:

The Combined Universities in Cornwall is a dynamic and visionary partnership that is one of the driving forces behind Cornwall's renaissance. This partnership combines the Universities of Exeter and Plymouth, Falmouth College of Arts, 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 Partnership for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, the South West Regional Development Agency, Cornwall County Council and the Higher Education Funding Council for England.

For more information, please contact:
David Kirk
CUC PR & Communications Office.
Tel: 01326 370471
Mobile: 07834676942
Email: david.kirk@cuc.ac.uk

QUOTES

Professor Steve Smith, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Exeter, said:

"Making a success of this project has been a big challenge for us. I am, therefore, very pleased to say that all the hard work has paid off. Recruitment was always going to be difficult in year one because up until now we have been showing potential students a building site. It is, therefore, a major achievement to fill all 160 places with high quality students. We believe the project will really take off now the campus is complete. Already we have three times as many enquiries for entry next year as we had in the whole of year one."

Professor Alan Livingston, Principal of Falmouth College of Arts, said:

"2004 is a momentous year for Falmouth College of Arts. We have secured both our independence, because we have been granted the power to award our own degrees; and our future, because of the scale of development at the Tremough Campus. Tremough represents a resounding vote of confidence from our funding bodies in the long-term development of Falmouth College of Arts. The College is in the middle of a ten-year expansion plan. We shall retain our historic Woodlane campus in Falmouth, but it has no room for growth. Buying Tremough in 1999 was a bold investment, and that vision has now been repaid. Students and staff enjoy superb modern facilities in the Media Centre and Design Centre; and the partnership with the University of Exeter in Cornwall gives both institutions an exceptional and innovative campus that neither could have contemplated on its own. These developments will help to keep Falmouth College of Arts at the forefront of education in art, design and media."

Gordon Kelly, Combined Universities in Cornwall Coordinator said:

"Cornwall is a unique place. It is served now by a unique vision for higher education. The Tremough Campus, as the 'Hub' of the Combined Universities in Cornwall initiative, embodies the key features of that vision. First, it expands opportunities for higher education in Cornwall, which will encourage graduates to stay and contribute to the economic regeneration of the county. Secondly, Tremough exemplifies the partnership that is at the heart of CUC. Nowhere else in the country are independent higher education institutions sharing facilities and staff so closely: nowhere else has managed to make a partnership on the scale of CUC work so successfully. Thirdly, Tremough stands for imagination and the will to innovate. The new building itself is ingenious in creating a single academic community from the very different traditions and activities of Falmouth and Exeter; and the exchange of ideas on the campus will lead to new ways of delivering learning to our students, to regional businesses and to the people of Cornwall."

Manfred Beschel, Head of Unit, DG Regional Policy for the European Union, said:

"The CUC project stands out for the very innovative way in which it seeks to
respond to the demand for higher education provision in Cornwall. I am
convinced that it will provide a significant impetus to the development of
the region."

Carleen Kelemen, Director of the Objective One Partnership said:

"National, European and worldwide links to culture, knowledge and research will accompany the extension of the CUC and it is these links that will realise the potential of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly becoming a knowledge based economy. With our young people being able to remain here to study in Higher Education, we will see the reduction of the 'brain drain' effect which has in the past forced young people out of the region and not seen them return. In the global marketplace, knowledge, skills and creativity are needed above all to give us a competitive edge. The CUC will create links between education and business, access to global research and availability of Higher Education opportunities for all. We are on the front row seat of a new and exciting future for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly."

Richard Bayly, Government Office for the South West Director for Devon and Cornwall said:

"This is a wonderful statement of the future for Cornwall and Cornwall's people, a symbol of quality, of aspiration, of excellence and of achievement. This is really tomorrow, today, in Cornwall."

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Sue Wolstenholme
Objective One Communications
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01579 370991


lmroberts@cornwall.gov.uk

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