In these dark days of credit crunch and economic downturn, one partnership in the West Country is bucking the trend by announcing significant borrowing that not only enhances its real estate but also its competitive advantage.
The joint venture at the Tremough Campus in Cornwall between University College Falmouth and the University of Exeter is embarking upon a new £20.5M building programme that will involve the construction of 427 new purpose-built, en-suite student residences. This will bring the total number of bed spaces at the glittering glass-and-granite hub of the Combined Universities in Cornwall initiative to 1227 by summer 2009. This is in advance of the relocation of Dartington College of Arts’ courses to Cornwall in 2010, following its merger with University College Falmouth earlier this year.
Over the last few months the joint venture partners have worked closely with Barclays and secured a loan deal of £20.5M, guaranteed by the two institutions.
“It is great news that UCF has been able to invest in the positive story that is the expansion of higher education in Cornwall, particularly as we move towards Arts University Cornwall by 2012,” commented University College Falmouth’s Director of Finance & Resources, Niamh Lamond. “University College Falmouth and the University of Exeter recognise the importance of building residences of the highest quality to satisfy student expectations and reduce the impact of student growth on local housing,” she added. “The expansion of Tremough’s Glasney Parc student village also provides Cornwall with world-class facilities on a substantial scale, and opens up new opportunities for the county to host international conferences and other major residential events.”
“We have been working closely with the University College Falmouth and University of Exeter for a number of years, and through understanding their business and future growth ambitions, we have been able to develop an attractive financing structure that will enable the development at the Tremough Campus to fulfil everyone’s expectations,” explained Nigel Brown who is Relationship Director at Barclays Commercial Bank. “This deal demonstrates our ongoing appetite and commitment for working in the education sector, despite the current economic climate, and it remains an area which is hugely important to us, and the local economy.”
Jeremy Lindley, Director of Corporate Services at the University of Exeter added: “The University is ranked 13th in the UK and is in the top five for student satisfaction; so it is very important that we are able to offer high quality accommodation to our students. The Tremough Campus has been a tremendous success and was a major factor in helping Exeter to win the University of the Year award. This development will further enhance the facilities and, in turn, increase the economic benefit of higher education to Cornwall.”
The development of Tremough as Cornwall’s world class university campus over the last five years has been supported by significant funding from the European Objective One programme, UK public funding and private investment by the two higher education partners.
Midas Construction has already completed over 800 units at the student village – which are known to be some of the most modern and comfortable residences in the UK – and construction of this latest phase of development has commenced.
For further information about University College Falmouth, please contact Jilly Easterby, Head of Public Affairs, Telephone: 01326 213792; or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information about University of Exeter, please contact Sarah Hoyle, Media Relations Manager, Telephone: 01392 262062; or email: S.Hoyle@exeter.ac.uk
Notes to editors
About University College Falmouth
University College Falmouth is a leading creative arts institution that enjoys an international reputation for excellence.
In April 2008, University College Falmouth merged with Dartington College of Arts to create a new institution focusing on the expansion of Falmouth’s expertise in Art, Design and Media and Dartington’s expertise in Choreography, Music, Theatre, Art and Writing.
The merger will pave the way for a new specialist Arts University in Cornwall in 2012, creating a Higher Education institution unique to the South West.
University College Falmouth is a founding partner in the Combined Universities in Cornwall (CUC), a unique initiative to promote regional economic regeneration through Higher Education, funded mainly by the European Union (Objective One), the South West Regional Development Agency, and the Higher Education Funding Council for England, with support from Cornwall County Council.
About University of Exeter
The £100 million Tremough Campus is a Combined Universities in Cornwall initiative ¬of which the University of Exeter and University College Falmouth are two of the founding partners. It is funded mainly by the European Union (Objective One), the South West Regional Development Agency, and the Higher Education Funding Council for England, with support from Cornwall County Council. Set in 70 acres of countryside, but close to the waterside towns of Penryn and Falmouth, the campus offers a lively student community. The University of Exeter now offers degrees in Biology, Modern Celtic and Cornish Studies, English, Geology, Geography, History, Law, Mining Engineering, Politics and Renewable Energy on the Tremough Campus, which has expanded rapidly as part of the Combined Universities in Cornwall initiative.
Midas is one of the UK’s fastest-growing, independent providers of property solutions, and has 30 years’ experience of offering a complete range of construction and property-related services for all industry sectors.
The Midas Group is made up of specialist trading companies and dedicated consumer teams that deliver a highly personalised service. Midas works closely with clients and partners to develop open, long-term relationships and deliver high-quality, value-for-money projects on time, ensuring that customers have a positive experience and their expectations are exceeded.