REL Rolle licence expires, but academy talks are ‘positive’

The entrance to the Owen Building. Ref exe 10-16SH 6925. Picture: Simon Horn

The entrance to the Owen Building. Ref exe 10-16SH 6925. Picture: Simon Horn - Credit: Archant

Community benefit society Rolle Exmouth Limited (REL) has been forced to leave the former Rolle College site, after its licence was not extended by Plymouth University.

However, REL says it has had positive talks with the site’s incoming owner, Exeter Deaf Academy.

REL’s previous licence for the site’s Owen Building ran out on October 1, and it hoped for an extension until November 30, but says the university has not signed this.

An REL spokesperson said: “Our solicitors are trying to ensure this agreement to extend is signed ASAP. However, until we have the agreement in place, we are suspending our activity on the site.”

Regarding the talks with the deaf academy, which announced plans to move to the site last month, REL chairman Deborah Hallett said: “We have been very encouraged by the way the Exeter Deaf Academy has been willing to engage, listen and respond to our situation.


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“We both agree that it is in the interests of the deaf students and the local community to work together and we have suggested an approach that will see us secure our immediate short-term future. The talks have been very positive.”

Steve Morton, director of development at Exeter Deaf Academy, said: “Meeting with REL is fast-tracking the development of strong relationships in the town. We want to connect with community groups, education providers and the business community among others.

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“REL’s commitment to ensuring an educational legacy for the site has been invaluable and we will build a deaf academy of which everyone in the town will be justifiably proud. Our hope is all of the parties involved will work together to find the best possible solution.”

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