University dream stays alive

AMBITIOUS plans to secure Suffolk's own university have come a step nearer reality.Bringing a university to Ipswich has become an educational holy grail for the town.

AMBITIOUS plans to secure Suffolk's own university have come a step nearer reality.

Bringing a university to Ipswich has become an educational holy grail for the town.

And Ipswich council seems set to do everything it can to bring a successful end to the long-running quest.

Councillors are set to approve plans to make land available for possible future building, developing an education quarter with the new university at its heart.

Land covering more than 12 hectares and taking in the current home of Suffolk College has been earmarked for development.

Sue Arnold, IBC head of strategic planning, said: "The most exciting thing about the current move towards a new university, which has been talked of many times, is that this is the first time every organisation which would have a role to play in its delivery wants it to happen.

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"It is a fantastic moment which we must capitalise on for the sake of higher education in Suffolk.

"We do not have a big war chest labelled 'money for higher education', but we have to think about how we can use what we have got. It's really important we deliver this."

The new buildings could also enjoy waterfront views by extending into the flagship Neptune Quay regeneration.

Land could also be made available at Orwell Quay if IBC takes up its option of buying it from Associated British Ports.

Essex and East Anglia universities have confirmed they are discussing possible projects for moving education to Ipswich.

But the projected plans of spending more than £100million and creating more than 7,000 full time places will have to overcome a higher education market that is rapidly stagnating.

A similar dream to create a university in nearby Peterborough became a nightmare after Loughborough university pulled out – leaving burnt fingers all round.

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