Penryn in all-out bid for university

AN all out attempt is to be made by Penryn town council to coax the planned University of Cornwall to the outskirts of the town and build on the Enys Estate.

So adamant is the mayor, Harry Grant, that such a complex would be the “salvation” of what has been described as a dying town, he is prepared to dig into his own pocket and pay £250 for a highway study. It would also bring prosperity to Falmouth.

“This is by far the most important correspondence we have ever received,” said Mr Grant, referring to Penryn being shortlisted for a possible site for the £60 million university.

The Enys Estate is one of 12 sites currently under review by the University of Exeter, four of which are in the Truro area. A final shortlist is expected at the end of the month.

But consideration will only be considered for the Penryn site if the Penryn and Falmouth town councils are behind it.

Mr Grant said he would arrange an urgent meeting with Falmouth councillors to discuss the issue. He had already commissioned a highway study for which he would pay out of his own pocket if his council said no and he, as a professional architect, would prepare a further report.

"We have all been looking for a pot of gold for Penryn," he said. "Trying to find ways a means of bringing prosperity to the town. We have not succeeded. Improvements already proposed will do something but nothing like a university so close to Penryn can do."

If the university does choose Penryn and the 375 acre first phase of the site developed it will mean 2,000 students plus staff moving to the campus. some would live in residence and other locally. That would mean a lot of Penryn and Falmouth, said Mr Grant.

"But without the support of Penryn and Falmouth it is unlikely the site will be chosen," he said.

On Monday Mr Grant put it to the Penryn town councillors who agreed the money for the survey to come from council coffers. All but three members agreed with going ahead and supported the scheme.

But Carrick members John Barringer and Len Brokenshire along with Mrs May May opted out.

The two district councillors said they had already supported the Tehidy Hospital site as being ideal and Mr Barringer was adamant it would ruin Penryn, not improve it. The town would lose its character and could not support so many students, he said.

Mr Brokenshire said the Camborne area was ideal as many colleges were already there.