Convergence Investment for Peninsula Dental School

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More than £4.7 million of ERDF Convergence investment has been approved for the next phase of the first new dental school in the UK for 40 years.

The Peninsula Dental School in Truro is to be built at the Knowledge Spa which already houses the Cornwall headquarters of the Peninsula Medical School. The project, totalling almost £12 million will include a floor dedicated to research and development.

Carleen Kelemen, Director of the Convergence Partnership Office for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, said: “The Peninsula Dental School in Truro will further widen the education and research opportunities in this region. This research can be used to stimulate business innovation and growth. It will also complement the research and business incubation facilities already on offer at the Knowledge Spa.

“On top of this a high percentage of those graduating from the existing Peninsula Medical School are choosing to begin their careers in Cornwall. This facility will increase those numbers, support the creation of more well paid, quality jobs and further strengthen Cornwall’s economy.”

The Peninsula Dental School welcomed its first students in Plymouth in September last year. The Peninsula Dental School will open in Truro in January 2010, when the School’s first students will transfer to Truro to continue their training.

It is estimated that the Peninsula Dental School in Truro will, at its peak, be able to treat up to 128 patients a day. Building work is expected to begin within the next two weeks and construction will be carried out by Interserve. The building will include 32 dental chairs arranged in groups of eight for training purposes, four single surgeries for individual requirements, and research and office provision.

Treatments begin when the facility opens and will be available for routine treatments for NHS patients. It is hoped that it will be particularly attractive to those currently without NHS dental provision. Details regarding how to access treatments will be announced nearer the time.

The go ahead to establish the Peninsula Dental School was won by the Peninsula Medical School in January 2006, when it was awarded 64 of the 100 new dental student places on offer from the Government. Key to the award was the anticipated contribution the Peninsula Dental School will make to community dental services in an area where NHS dental cover is identified as poor.

Editor’s Notes:

  • £3.545 million ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) Convergence investment has been approved for the building of the £9.26 million Peninsula Dental School in Truro.
  • £1.244 million ERDF Convergence investment has been approved for the £2.72 million research facility.
  • For further information see: http://www.southwestrda.org.uk/what-we-do/policy/european-prog/convergence.shtm http://www.objectiveone.com/O1htm/01-convergence/convergence.htm
  • Convergence helpline telephone: 0800 0280120.
  • In Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly the Convergence Programmes are made up of European Regional Development Fund (£311 million) and European Social Fund (£133 million) Convergence Programmes will run until 2013 and follow the successful Objective One Programme and prior to that Objective 5b.
  • The investment is intended to boost the region’s economy by providing focussed support for business creating better quality, higher paid jobs. This support includes training and access to higher education, strengthening links between academia and business, improved airport and IT infrastructure, additional high quality workspace and specialist support to boost business productivity.
  • The European Regional Development Fund Operational Programme, which is this region’s contract with the European Commission, was signed off by Danuta Hubner, European Commissioner for Regional Policy, in December 2007. It contains four key areas of investment.
  • These are Innovation, Research and Development; Enterprise and Investment; Transformational Infrastructure (digital, transport and knowledge) and Unlocking the Economic Potential of Place.
  • The European Social Fund Convergence Programme Managing Authority is the Department for Work and Pensions, supported by Government Office South West.
  • The ESF Operational Programme will be targeted at tackling barriers to work, improving workforce skills and research and graduate activity. It will be delivered primarily through co financing via the Learning and Skills Council and Jobcentre Plus.

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