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MP: "Government university review offers 'Long term roadmap' for Ambleside campus"

July 10, 2013 10:06 AM

Tim with students at Ambleside campusSouth Lakes MP Tim Farron has called the Government's Witty review a 'blueprint for Ambleside Campus and the University of Cumbria'. Tim has called for the university to work with local science and hi-tech businesses to create a 'hub' in South Cumbria.

Yesterday, Sir Andrew Witty published the preliminary findings of his independent review of universities and growth. The preliminary findings, which do not make recommendations, cover a number of themes:

  • using sectoral/cluster strengths, rather than geographical units, to develop plans for regional growth
  • universities playing a stronger role in economic development
  • improving small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) access to universities, including university business schools playing a greater role in providing business support to SMEs
  • reducing complex funding streams supporting research and innovation

The preliminary findings include maps showing locations of excellent research, and where the economic activity in the industrial strategy sectors and technologies takes place. Tim has also backed proposals to encourage Local Enterprise Partnerships to work closely with universities and develop strategic plans.

The final report of the review will be published at the end of the summer 2013.

Tim said: "These ideas are exactly where the University of Cumbria and especially Ambleside campus should be going. In South Cumbria we have businesses like Croppers, Gilkes and GlaxoSmithKline and we should be working with them to bring business and education together. This report offers us a roadmap. If we can push this forward we can create a real hub for business. This would allow us to attract even more businesses to come to South Lakeland, secure further investment and bring more well paid jobs to our area."