Rolle group to hold deaf academy talks

The entrance to the Owen Building. Ref exe 10-16SH 6921. Picture: Simon Horn

The entrance to the Owen Building. Ref exe 10-16SH 6921. Picture: Simon Horn - Credit: Archant

Exeter Deaf Academy and Rolle Exmouth Ltd (REL) have agreed to explore ways they could potentially work together, after the academy announced plans to relocate to the former Rolle College site.

REL has been running a fundraising campaign to preserve the site as a community, education and business resource for future generations, and board members said the announcement yesterday took them by surprise.

However, they have welcomed the chance to sit down with the academy’s senior team to discuss the potential for shared opportunities.

REL chairman Deborah Hallett said: “After negotiating with Plymouth University for six years we were surprised, and upset, to hear about this deal at the same time as everyone else, including the media.

“Having said that, we welcome the fact that the Exeter Deaf Academy has acted so swiftly in agreeing to meet us to discuss ways that we might be able to work together.

“We have many shared goals and both have the interests of the community at the heart of what we do.

“This is an unexpected twist but we remain determined to find the best possible outcome for the people of Exmouth.”

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Steve Morton, director of development at Exeter Deaf Academy, said he and his colleagues were keen to engage with local groups.

He said: “We are very excited at the prospect of a move to Exmouth. An important aspect of our vision for the new academy is that it helps bring deaf and hearing people together.

“To this end we are keen to meet with the people and community groups of Exmouth. We would be pleased to meet with Rolle Exmouth Ltd to help us understand their aims and explore if there are any opportunities to work together.

“We both share a desire to provide an educational future for the Rolle site which benefits the town.”