Ambleside Campus decision looms

KEY decisions on the future of Ambleside’s university campus will be taken in the summer, according to a leading University of Cumbria figure.

Pro-vice chancellor Professor Liz Beaty told a packed annual meeting of Lakes Parish Council that the futures of the town’s sites were still up in the air.

She confirmed 120 outdoor studies students will move from Newton Rigg to the Charlotte Mason Gateway building in September.

The meeting heard that the long-term future of the outdoor studies course at Ambleside will be influen-ced by Askham Bryan’s takeover of Newton Rigg as a centre of agricultural excellence, and the courses it would offer.

The Supplementary Planning Document, developed by the Lake District National Park Authority in conjunction with the university, was recently given the green light by councillors bidding to ensure education is the priority use for any buildings which are sold off.

During the meeting, audience members said the university, which annou-nced two years ago it would be selling off much of the campus due to a £20million debt, had a ‘great moral responsibility’ to the town.

Mrs Beaty said it was still an ‘immature’ university but had learned a lot in three years and had a bright future. She said it intended to stay in Ambleside, with a ‘sustainable, presence’.