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MP asks new Vice Chancellor of University Cumbria to scrap plans to downgrade Ambleside campus

March 18, 2009 9:08 AM

As the University of Cumbria prepares to welcomes Dr Peter McCaffery as its new Vice Chancellor, Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron has issued the incoming Vice Chancellor with a challenge to save the Ambleside Campus.

Dr McCaffery was appointed on the 12th March to replace the outgoing Vice Chancellor Chris Carr and will begin his duties later in the summer. However, Mr Farron has wasted no time in asking the new VC to make a commitment to retaining the Ambleside Campus at the University of Cumbria.

Under current plans the campus would be closed to undergraduate students from 2012 with over half of the University's buildings sold off.

Commenting Mr Farron said:

"First off I'd like to thank Chris Carr for his many excellent years of service as Vice Chancellor of the University of Cumbria and before that as Principal of St Martins College.

"I'm certain that with his many years of experience in higher education Dr Peter McCaffery will be an outstanding Vice Chancellor who will continue to grow the reputation of the University of Cumbria. He is an excellent appointment and we are very fortunate to be able to welcome him to the helm of Britain's newest University"

"When he takes over in the summer, one of the first things Dr McCaffery is going find on his desk will be the decision to downgrade Ambleside campus. It's now up to us to convince him to reverse that decision and save Ambleside campus.

"Ambleside campus is the only University of Cumbria campus in the south of the County and has huge importance to the local community. Keeping Ambleside campus open to undergraduate students will guarantee a strong profile for our area, maintain a vibrant community with a balanced age range and give underlying strength to the local economy.

"Recent course recruitment figures prove that Ambleside is the most successful of the University's campuses, it would be very odd to choose to close the University's most popular courses.

"I hope that the new Vice Chancellor will consider the wider benefit to the local community of having a campus in the south of Cumbria and will reverse the decision to downgrade Ambleside campus."