Businesses urged to invest in university

SUFFOLK'S business community has today been urged to invest in University Campus Suffolk (UCS). Companies and commercial leaders are being asked to back the project, which is expected to significantly boost the region's economy and provide a skilled workforce in the county.

SUFFOLK'S business community has today been urged to invest in University Campus Suffolk (UCS).

Companies and commercial leaders are being asked to back the project, which is expected to significantly boost the region's economy and provide a skilled workforce in the county.

Alison Lys, head of skills and employment at the East of England Development Agency (EEDA), said: “UCS is one of the biggest and bravest Higher Education (HE) developments in the country.

“The project will bring massive benefits to the Ipswich and Suffolk economy and we would like to encourage private sector investment.


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“It is not always easy to engage the business community in a long term development of this type but we need to challenge the business community to show its commitment to the project and the future of the town.

“If one business invests then others will follow.”

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Ms Lys said businesses would be able to link their activities alongside a high quality HE development, and secure their own future by investing in the project.

She added: “Businesses need to take the view that this project will improve their competitiveness in the long run.

Work on the UCS development at Ipswich Waterfront is expected to start in 2007.

Richard Lister, UCS operations director, said: “UCS is very pleased with the partnerships we are developing with the business community.

“It is important we engage the business community on a case by case basis. In the long term we hope UCS will be a multi-partnership organisation with input from the public and private sectors.”

University Campus Suffolk (UCS) is due to open its doors to students in September 2007. Costing and estimated £150million over the next ten years UCS, land has already been set aside for the project and UCS, plus a new Suffolk College, will create an 'education quarter' stretching from Rope Walk to the Ipswich Waterfront.

What do you think of the UCS project? Will your company be investing in the scheme? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

www.suffolk.ac.uk

www.ucs.ac.uk

www.eeda.org.uk

N Autumn 2002- Officials from the University of East Anglia and University of Essex meet with Suffolk College bosses to discuss a collaborative approach to extending higher education in Suffolk.

N Spring 2003-Suffolk County Council revived ambitions for a university in the county. The council established a group made up from the interested parties.

N January 2004-HEFCE awarded £245,000 of funding to produce a business case for the UCS scheme

N Spring 2004-Ipswich Borough Council agreed a £10million contribution towards land purchases for the project.

N June 2004-The UCS website www.ucs.ac.uk was launched at the Suffolk Show.

N September 2004-Discussions take place with education and business leaders about the UCS curriculum.

N November 2004-The plans gain pace as Suffolk County Council pledges £13 million to buy the land needed for the main campus in Ipswich.

N December 2004-The UCS project team submits a bid to HEFCE for £15 million of funding.

N February 2005 HEFCE grant £15m towards the project.

N September 2005 EEDA grant a further £12.5million to the UCS project.

N January 2005 UCS Chief Executive Bob Anderson is appointed.

N February 2006-Launch of UCS brand.

N March 2006-Treasury rubber stamps £12.5m EEDA grant.

April 2006-Launch of UCS prospectus.

June 2006-Suffolk Show UCS presentation.

August 2007-Official Launch of UCS.

September 2007-First students to enrol at UCS.

Autumn 2008-Planned opening of first UCS building on Ipswich Waterfront.

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