Campaign aims to end ‘waste of space’ at Exmouth’s Rolle

Roger Staker,Deborah Hallett and EDDC's Andrew Moulding at the Rolle College share launch. Ref exe 1

Roger Staker,Deborah Hallett and EDDC's Andrew Moulding at the Rolle College share launch. Ref exe 14-16TI 8425. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

A campaign that it is hoped could bring national funding to Exmouth’s former Rolle College site has been launched.

The Waste of Space campaign has been created by Rolle Exmouth Limited (REL), the community benefit society that is aiming to secure the site for business, education and community use.

The campaign has launched with a short film and posters starring local actors, based around the concept that it is not East Devon’s young people that are a ‘waste of space’, but the site itself as it stands now, with facilities including a fully-equipped lecture theatre, large performance space, and range of seminar rooms all left shut and unused for eight years.

REL chairman Deborah Hallett said: “We hope people will be inspired to get involved, be that by pledging support, buying community shares, becoming a volunteer, or telling us how they think the site should be developed.”

Ms Hallett explained that the campaign would start locally, and hope to build support, including through social media, to help make the case for Rolle to national investors.

The Rolle College site has been put up for sale by owner Plymouth University, which has also applied for planning permission for a mixed-use development on the site with housing.

Plymouth University has given REL a temporary licence to use the site’s Owen Building, and pledged that it can be used for community use when the site is sold.

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REL is working to secure the Owen Building and more of the site. It is in talks with the university about becoming the preferred community partner.

East Devon district councillor Jill Elson, also chairman of governors at Exmouth Community College, said: “The fact that the site has remained unused and unavailable to the community for seven years is unacceptable.

“I hope Plymouth University will work closely with the local community to ensure there is a true, lasting legacy.”