New hope for Rolle

PUBLISHED: 15:47 21 July 2008 | UPDATED: 09:20 10 June 2010

Monday, July 21: THE government has pledged further intervention as the future of Rolle College was this week debated once more in parliament. East Devon MP Hugo Swire spoke before the Commons yesterday to highlight the campus's importance to the community calling for c

THE government has pledged further intervention as the future of Rolle College was this week debated once more in parliament.East Devon MP Hugo Swire spoke before the Commons yesterday to highlight the campus's importance to the community - calling for continued educational use of the site. The college has just closed after the University of Plymouth's decision to pull out of Exmouth and sell the prime site.Education minister Bill Rammell MP yesterday agreed to meet stakeholders for renewed discussion, but made no promises. He said: "Although I can give no guarantees and have no control over the outcome, I am prepared to talk once again to the university authorities, the Learning and Skills Council, the local education authority and the district council to see whether there is some way that the matter can be taken forward."Ultimately, the University of Plymouth has an absolute right to [the] decision. Nevertheless, given the concern, I am willing to engage in those discussions and happy to report back on the outcome."Mr Swire has long backed a consortium bid for Rolle land in order to establish a post-16 education centre, jointly run by Exmouth Community College and Exeter College."This gives us fresh hope," he said. "I am delighted that the minister is going to look again at what I described to the Prime Minister as a 'quite unnecessary logjam'. "Everyone must now redouble their efforts to secure this site and that includes Brian Greenslade and the county council who must now take the lead."Mr Swire also claimed a major university deal with developers was on the rocks, adding: "Plymouth is now in a difficult position as the main developer appears to have walked away."But developers the Moorfield Group, who declared an interest in the site in April, said they remained in negotiations. Director Edward Cade told the Journal: "We have not walked away from anything and are still pursuing our negotiations with the vendor."The university was unavailable for comment at the time of going to press.Tommorow's graduation will be the final official Rolle event for students. A fireworks party will later mark the college's closure.

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