New university moves step closer

PUBLISHED: 06:59 05 December 2001 | UPDATED: 10:58 03 March 2010

A UNIVERSITY for Suffolk has moved an important step closer today after a bid for a new technology institute cleared a crucial hurdle.

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A UNIVERSITY for Suffolk has moved an important step closer today after a bid for a new technology institute cleared a crucial hurdle.

Ipswich is one of just two places in the East of England which have been short-listed for a major £1 million handout to create a higher education technology college.

The proposed scheme is on the town's Waterfront, and if funding is finally approved early next year, the college could even be built and open by October – eventually catering for more than 500 students.

James Hehir, chief executive of Ipswich Borough Council and chairman of the IP-City Steering Group, said last night: "We have crossed the first, very important hurdle, in the face of very strong competition.

"This is brilliant news for Suffolk, Ipswich, and the regeneration of the Waterfront in Ipswich. It will bring a whole new kind of education, and is a stepping stone towards a university for Suffolk."

He added: "It is one of two short-listed for the East of England, and both could be successful. We now have to put together a detailed business plan, to be submitted by February, with a view to opening in October of next year."

A new technology institute in Ipswich could cater for 200 full-time and part-time students for the 2002/03 academic year, rising to more than 550 students over the next two years.

Suffolk College and IP-City, which also includes Agilent, BTexact and the Suffolk Learning and Skills Council, submitted a £1 million bid in October under a government scheme to create two technology institutes for each economic region in the UK.

The proposals would match Government funding with private investment and link the technology institute to residential and commercial projects anticipated for the Ipswich docks regeneration area.

Suffolk College owns the proposed development site next to the Bellway Homes apartments on Ipswich Waterfront.

It is believed three other bids were put forward for the East of England, including a proposal from Essex University. It is not yet known where the other successful bid came from.


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