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Essex: New deal signed between university and councils

PUBLISHED: 16:42 23 April 2014 | UPDATED: 16:42 23 April 2014

Front: Tendring District Council’'s councillor for partnerships Lynda McWilliams, Essex University Vice-Chancellor Professor Anthony Forster, Colchester Borough Council leader cllr Anne Turrell & Essex County Council deputy leader and councillor for economic growth Kevin Bentley.  Back: University registrar Bryn Morris, Essex’ University director of estate management Simon Neale, Tendring District Council business manager Jon Barber, Colchester Borough Council councillor for business Paul Smith, Haven Gateway Partnership chairman and South East Local Enterprise Partnership vice-chairman George Kieffer, economic growth and regeneration manager at Essex County Council Helen Code, strategic director, commercial and place at Colchester Borough Council Ian Vipond, and Colchester borough councillor for regeneration Nick Barlow.

Front: Tendring District Council’'s councillor for partnerships Lynda McWilliams, Essex University Vice-Chancellor Professor Anthony Forster, Colchester Borough Council leader cllr Anne Turrell & Essex County Council deputy leader and councillor for economic growth Kevin Bentley. Back: University registrar Bryn Morris, Essex’ University director of estate management Simon Neale, Tendring District Council business manager Jon Barber, Colchester Borough Council councillor for business Paul Smith, Haven Gateway Partnership chairman and South East Local Enterprise Partnership vice-chairman George Kieffer, economic growth and regeneration manager at Essex County Council Helen Code, strategic director, commercial and place at Colchester Borough Council Ian Vipond, and Colchester borough councillor for regeneration Nick Barlow.

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Essex University and councils in north Essex have signed an agreement to work closely together to drive economic growth in the area.

The Memorandum of Understanding between the university, Colchester Borough Council (CBC), Tendring District Council (TDC) and Essex County Council (ECC) builds on the already strong links between the partners.

Representatives of each organisation attended a signing ceremony at the soon-to-open Parkside Office Village at the university’s Wivenhoe campus yesterday morning.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Anthony Forster said: “As our 50th anniversary approaches we are as ambitious as ever and we want to share our world-leading expertise to drive forward growth in the North East of Essex. Creating stronger connections with business is an integral part of our excellence strategy which is supported by this agreement.

“We are aiming to deliver outstanding services which will give our business partners the edge in the marketplace - from support for business development to incubation facilities to foster innovative start-ups.

“We are at the cutting edge in many sectors including being one of the leading universities in the UK and Europe for harvesting data and applying it in new and exciting ways to generate competitive advantage.

“This agreement outlines how we can support the plans of our partners for economic growth, job creation, skills development and improving educational attainment and aspirations. Their support will be vital to our own plans to grow our student numbers by 50% and improve transport links to the Knowledge Gateway to enhance its impact as a major growth hub in the region.”

The memorandum not only commits the university and local authorities to work together and promote the same vision, but also sets out specific projects they each support.

These include plans already underway such as the Knowledge Gateway research park and the new £21million Essex Business School at the university, and aspirational projects such as a railway station for the university and new connected business developments.

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