£8 million universities expansion


 An £8 million expansion of Higher Education in Penzance as part of the Combined Universities in Cornwall initiative has had approval for £4 million from the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) Convergence Programme and £2 million from the South West RDA.


The expansion is being lead by Truro and Penwith College and will involve new and refurbished buildings. It is part of a £32 million master plan to support Further and Higher Education in Penwith. It is estimated that the HE phase will cost £8 million, including £2 million from Truro and Penwith College.


The Principal of Truro and Penwith College, Mr Jonathan Burnett, stated: We are delighted at this news of £4 million of ERDF Convergence funding towards our project to develop Higher Education opportunities in West Cornwall.  This is a vital part of our overall redevelopment of the Penwith College campus which will have a massive impact on young people and adults in the west of the county. “


Carleen Kelemen, Director of the Convergence Partnership Office, said: “The Combined Universities in Cornwall is key to strengthening the economy throughout Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly for generations to come. This Penwith development, supported by ERDF Convergence and the RDA, will provide access to further opportunities for students, graduates and businesses.”


Professor Alan Livingston, Chair of the Combined Universities in Cornwall Executive Group, added: “The Combined Universities in Cornwall partnership has long recognised that more needs to be done to bring the benefits of university level education within easy reach of people and businesses in the far west of the county. This investment is a fitting reward for the vision and ambition that the Truro and Penwith College team has shown in its exciting plans for the Penzance campus.”


Sue Brownlow, Head of Higher and Further Education in the European programmes team at the South West RDA, said: “Investment in higher level skills is a key part of our strategy for transforming the economic performance of Cornwall.  This investment in Penzance, one of Cornwall’s key towns, is the first step in a bigger plan to make HE more accessible right across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.”


Plans include purpose built buildings with state of the art facilities as well as sympathetically restoring the old Girls Grammar School building and Treneere Manor. 


Five Higher Education courses have already been added to the Penwith provision and these are courses which are already successfully running at Truro:  FdA Applied Literary Studies, FdA Early Childhood Education, FdA Photography and Digital Imaging, FdSc Public Services, FdA Community Studies (Development and Youth Work).