New role for Rolle!

ROLLE College is set to re-open as a post-16 college following almost four years of negotiations.

ROLLE College is set to re-open as a post-16 college - following almost four years of negotiations.A Journal source has revealed that Devon County Council is expected to rubber-stamp the purchase of the Douglas Avenue site from Plymouth University, at a crucial closed-doors meeting of the authority's executive today.Last summer, the teacher training college was closed after 61 years and moved to Plymouth, prompting fears the site would be sold off 'to the highest bidder'.However, a 'consortium' - which includes Exmouth Community College principal Tony Alexander, governors Jill Elson, Ray Davidson and Ken Turner, and Exeter College principal Richard Atkins, backed by MP Hugo Swire - has worked tirelessly behind the scenes to secure the site through a series of ministerial meetings in Whitehall.East Devon MP Hugo Swire said: "My understanding is that... it will go ahead."It is a major cause for celebration that the county council have finally stepped up to the plate in providing an incredibly important resource for Exmouth. "There are major challenges ahead, not least the very expensive refurbishment of the Rolle College site."But the point is that Rolle College is going to be retained for educational use and not for residential or commercial development. "I believe that Tony Alexander, who is an excellent principal of one of the largest comprehensive schools in Europe, is the ideal person to preside over this."Tony Alexander said: "The governors of the college have worked extremely hard over the past four years to secure Rolle College as a valuable amenity for Exmouth Community College and the town."The governors of Exmouth Community College would be delighted if the acquisition of Rolle College site for the benefit of the town went ahead. "Obviously, this will raise funding issues which have to be resolved. Hopefully, this will become a major asset for the college and the wider community of Exmouth.