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Journal calls for u-turn on college closure plans

The Exmouth Journal is fighting to save a university campus in the town from closure.

Proposals have been put forward to move the University of Plymouth’s Rolle campus to Plymouth by 2008, but the Archant South West newspaper says this would hit the local economy and is calling for a u-turn.

It is claimed that Exmouth would lose between £20m and £30m a year from income generated by the students, and the weekly paper has launched a petition calling for the campus to stay put.

It is also keeping the issue in the spotlight with weekly stories.

Journal editor Mary Evans said: “The Rolle campus is vital to the economy of Exmouth and we will do our utmost to keep it here.

“It generates an income of around £20m a year for the town from the students who rent properties and spend their money here.

“The students also add a youthful feel to the town, which is welcome in a high retirement area. It will be a crippling blow for the town should the campus close.”

The campus, which has been in Exmouth since 1946, houses the university’s Faculty of Education where primary school teachers are trained and currently has 4,000 students and 400 staff.

However it is estimated that work to upgrade Rolle to modern standards could cost up to £6m.

A public consultation period on the possible closure has been extended by a month to October 31 and a final decision is expected to be taken by university governors in early November.

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