Rolle site bid hope grows
PUBLISHED: 17:02 10 August 2008 | UPDATED: 09:28 10 June 2010
SUNDAY, AUGUST 10: EXMOUTH awaits a decision on Rolle College's future as an education centre after Devon County Council confirmed a £3 million bid for the campus site. The land was vacated at the end of July by the University of Plymouth, who have been negotiating a possib
EXMOUTH awaits a decision on Rolle College's future as an education centre after Devon County Council confirmed a £3 million bid for the campus site.The land was vacated at the end of July by the University of Plymouth, who have been negotiating a possible sale to developers the Moorfield Group.In an email to the Journal last week, DCC lead councillor Brian Greenslade confirmed the official bid, with "no reply as yet from Plymouth".The County Council have led financial backing for a consortium, including Exmouth Community College and Exeter College, who intend to establish a facility for 14 to 19 year-olds at the site.A spokesperson for the University of Plymouth said: "We can confirm that we are still engaged in discussions with a number of interested parties, including Devon County Council, and will give full and careful consideration to all offers received.The University's decision to withdraw from Exmouth, depriving the town of a lucrative influx of youthful population, has been estimated to cost the town a potential £5 million annually.This year East Devon MP Hugo Swire led a march to save Rolle, urging the County Council to make a firm bid to retain the site for education.A 'cautiously optimistic' Mr Swire said: "It is now for the University to respond to what is a fair offer in today's economic climate. It would enable them to fulfil promises, made by themselves in the first place, to work with Exmouth for a solution which would help the town [when they sold the site]. "Potentially this is a win-win situation, in everybody's best interests."In July the Moorfield Group denied claims that their negotiations were stalling.Residents had long opposed the closure of the College. Exmouth Community Association chairman Roy Pryke said: "This does seem to be an opportunity to find a solution that will satisfy all sides. In the current property market a serious offer for a part of the campus could keep the colleges, County Council and Exmouth happy.