Exmouth Town Council has agreed to pledge a further £15,000 towards the effort to save the Rolle College site.

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Rolle Exmouth Limited (REL) has previously received £30,000 from the council, and still has £16,000 of that left – though that money has already been allocated.

Therefore, REL asked for the extra £15,000 pledge to help it put together its bid for EU funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

REL says it is capping the cost of its bid, which would need a professionally prepared document, at £60,000 - and it could be less, so all the council’s money may not be needed.

REL chairman Roy Pryke told councillors that the group would be bidding for a share of £5 million from the ERDF, which could go a long way towards the estimated total cost of £6 million to renovate and purchase the Rolle site.After a presentation from Mr Pryke, the town council’s finance committee agreed to put forward the money.

Councillor Eileen Wragg said: “We’ve supported Rolle throughout and can’t be seen to be wavering now. [To pay] £15,000 when we’ve really got a chance of success – I think we should be getting behind this.”

Councillor Pauline Stott said: “Even if [REL] weren’t successful with this bid, the document could be used elsewhere, so it’s not going to be wasted.”

Councillors agreed to put forward the money from their town management budget, on the basis that it would support the promotion of business, employment and training in the town. Mr Pryke also told councillors that REL were anticipating holding a second public share issue later this year.

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