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Key senior Government members visited the Penryn Campus to strengthen their understanding of the challenges and opportunities for Cornwall arising from Brexit.

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid visits Penryn Campus

Key senior Government members paid a high-level visit to the Penryn Campus in Cornwall, as part of a fact-finding tour to strengthen their understanding of the challenges and opportunities for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly arising from Brexit.

The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and University of Exeter alumnus, The Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, visited the campus as part of a wider visit to Cornwall on Tuesday, September 26.

He was joined by Steve Baker MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary at the Department for Exiting the EU, to see first-hand how the campus benefitted from European funding support, both historically and through current projects.

The Ministerial group were given a tour of the Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI), the £30 million interdisciplinary centre leading cutting-edge research into environmental change.

They were then shown the Science and Engineering Research Support Facility (SERSF), which brings pioneering business, science and engineering researchers together with a focus on growing the economy of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

After meeting with representatives from Falmouth University, key stakeholders from across the county came together to hold a Brexit ‘roundtable’ discussion, to hear about the implications of the UK’s exit for Cornwall & Isles of Scilly’s economy, services and workforce and post-exit growth opportunities in the region.

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said: “As a University of Exeter alumnus it was great to come back to the South West to hear about the exciting projects happening at the Penryn campus.

“As we leave the EU, we’re working with businesses and partners to provide the certainty they need, and to understand the challenges and opportunities they may face in the coming months and years.

“The Government is clear about the value of international exchange and collaboration in education, training and research – it forms a key part of our vision for the UK as a global nation.”  

Professor Sir Steve Smith, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Exeter who welcomed the Ministerial Party for the visit said: “We were delighted to be able to not only host such an informative and important discussion, but also showcase just how important European funding, research networks and academics have been for the University and the wider community in Cornwall.

“The University is committed to help grow the economy of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, creating jobs and wealth by building on existing education and research assets, and supporting the development of high-value businesses, people, knowledge, investment and research.

“Investments like those we have had from Europe have allowed us to meet this commitment, and it is vital that we explore all the opportunities and avenues open to us all to ensure Cornwall’s continued economic growth for the years ahead.”

Date: 4 October 2017