University ‘vital in stopping exodus’

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A MULTI-MILLION pound university complex on the Yorkshire coast has been heralded as vital in helping to prevent an exodus of young people from seaside communities and ensuring their talent is harnessed for thousands of new job opportunities.

A wave of new industry is set to arrive in the coastal region, and political leaders are committed to ensuring that communities capitalise on the vast economic opportunities.

A multi-billion pound off-shore wind farm sector is seen as a new dawn for the Yorkshire coast’s economy, while plans for a £1.7bn potash mine, which will extract the key component of fertiliser from a site in the North York Moors National Park near Whitby, were approved last month.

Scarborough Borough Council leader Coun Derek Bastiman said the new university complex in the town will be vital to creating the required skilled workforce in the area.

He also stressed that the new education facilities would help counter a “brain drain” by stopping young people in Yorkshire’s coastal communities from looking elsewhere in the country to embark on their careers.

Coun Bastiman said: “This development will be one of the most important Scarborough has seen for generations.

“Its potential benefit to the area is enormous, providing much-needed skills to our workforce, encouraging new commercial investment to the town, and enabling our young people to stay in the area rather than having to move away to find better paid employment.”

It is hoped that the arrival of the new industries, which will provide well-paid and specialist roles, will help counter significant pockets of deprivation in towns such as Scarborough and Whitby.

There is a heavy reliance on the tourism sector along the Yorkshire coast, which has created major problems with seasonal unemployment during the winter months – although the arrival of off-shore wind farms and the new potash mine is expected to provide jobs all year round.

Planning permission for the borough-council-backed Coventry University Scarborough Campus and Scarborough University Technical College (UTC) was granted by councillors on Thursday last week. The £10m education complex will be built on the Weaponness coach and car park.

Both applications require further approval from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, but the council does not anticipate the decision being called in.