The University of Derby has announced plans to further establish its Buxton campus as a base for real-world learning and to collaborate with industry leaders to support skills development, boost productivity and build long-term, sustainable economic prosperity for the town and the region.
This is underpinned by growth in student numbers achieved by Buxton & Leek College, which has been part of the University of Derby group since 2013.
Professor Malcolm Todd, Deputy Vice-Chancellor/Provost (Academic and Student Experience) at the University of Derby, said: “The University of Derby is proud to be an integral part of Buxton and is a key partner in supporting the town’s long-term growth and ambition. The changes announced today not only help to achieve that, but also enable the University to deliver against its broader civic commitments across the county and the opportunities for the regional economy offered up by the Industrial Strategy.”
As part of this, students on a variety of courses will benefit from the opportunities available in Buxton to gain the hands-on work experience which is an essential part of the University’s curriculum.
And, as part of a broader, ongoing review of its portfolio, there will be a phasing out of some elements of the University’s academic provision in Buxton from 2020 through to 2022. In order to fully capitalise on the Tourism Sector Deal, the Centre for Contemporary Hospitality and Tourism, which delivers courses in Hospitality, Tourism and Event Management, will relocate to Derby from 2020, with Culinary Arts students making the same move from 2021.
Spa Management and Outdoor courses in Buxton will close in 2022, once all current students have graduated, reflecting a shift within these sectors to more industry-led qualifications which has led to a steady decline in student numbers over recent years.
This approach will enable the town to benefit from more of the civic and commercial opportunities offered by the Devonshire Dome.
Today’s announcement kick-starts a period of consultation to help inform further thinking on how the University’s presence in Buxton can best benefit the town, its residents and the local economy.
“We recognise the importance of the University’s presence in the town, and the civic and commercial opportunities of the Devonshire Dome which are not currently being fully exploited,” said Professor Todd. “There is such potential to maximise the industrial strengths of the town and surrounding area and numerous options we could pursue.
“Over the coming months we will be consulting widely, working in collaboration with industry leads and key stakeholders to help shape our thinking and deliver an approach which best supports Buxton’s long-term plans and ambitions.”
Cllr Anthony McKeown, Leader of High Peak Borough Council, said: “We welcome the commitment of the University of Derby to Buxton and to continuing to work closely with the Council and other partners.
“The University plays an important role in both supporting our plans for Buxton town centre and safeguarding the Devonshire Dome and I look forward to strengthening our partnership to enhance and develop both for the future.”
Further details on the consultation exercise will be released shortly.