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Farron: 'As term starts and Ambleside welcomes back students, it shows our campaign success'

August 27, 2013 11:26 AM

Tim has been leading the campaign to save Ambleside CampusOn the eve on the new academic year, South Lakes MP Tim Farron has said that the new cohort of students coming to Ambleside campus and the approval of the plans for the re-vamp of the campus, shows that his campaign to save the site has made a massive difference.

The next stage of the revival of the University of Cumbria's Ambleside campus has got planning permission.

The previously moth-balled site is set to welcome back hundreds of students this September after a summer spent refurbishing the buildings and improving the access roads.

Now, the university has received permission to restore the historic Scale How building and remove the modern extensions that were built in the 1980's. Work will also be done to bring the Percival lecture theatre on the site back into use.

The proposals were accepted at a meeting of the Lake District National Park Authority. According to the University the redevelopment of the site has also had a significant impact on the university's recruitment figures. The courses currently due to move from Penrith to Ambleside have seen more than a 20% increase in applications from students making the University of Cumbria their first choice, compared to the same time last year.

Four years ago the University planned to 'mothball' the campus. The campaign to save the much loved campus was spearheaded by Tim and has had widespread public backing throughout the SouthLakes. At public meetings in Ambleside hundreds of local residents came to voice their opposition to plans to close the campus; thousands also signed a petition and there were two marches through the town.

Tim said: "In a matter of weeks a new group of students will be starting university and coming to Ambleside. When I heard the news that the university wanted to close the site four years ago, I was devastated. I pledged then to do everything in my power to restore the campus and to bring the students back - and I'm pleased to say we've done it! I want to thank the students, their families and the community for their help. I do not know any other town that would campaign to keep their students, but we did and we've won!

"I also want to thank the university management who met with us and listened to us and agreed to save the campus back then, but also to bring it back to life now. But I promise to keep on at them to improve services and keep investing in Ambleside. Every time I meet university bosses I remind them of their name, the University of Cumbria. Having campuses in London and Lancaster is all well and good but they must deliver Higher Education to the people of Cumbria - and Ambleside should be a key part of that, it's the jewel in their crown and usually the cover photo on their prospectus."