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Rolle name will live on at new home for education

06 August 2007

The new £25 million home to the Faculty of Education is to keep its link with the name Rolle, following the move from Exmouth to Plymouth.

After a period of consultation, the University has been granted permission by the Clinton Devon Estates to name the James Square Academic Building the Rolle Building. Due for completion in September of next year, it will feature brand new state-of-the-art academic facilities, a cafeteria and accommodation for 500 students. Further accommodation will be provided after the conversion of the Mary Newman building, due for completion this September.

The Rolle Building takes its name from the Rolle family, which has been associated with the Faculty of Education's current home in Exmouth since the early 1950s. It was the Rolle family that attracted wealth to the East Devon seaside town, by developing the docks and through ship building. Lord Rolle had opulent mansions and villas built, encouraging the affluent retired to make Exmouth their home.

The Rolles were liberal patrons and spend much of their wealth on churches, chapels, assembly rooms and municipal buildings, also providing gas, electricity and water supplies throughout the town. This benevolence continued through the family's descendants, the Clintons through the 20th century. To commemorate the generosity the families had shown to the town, the former Teacher Training College in Douglas Avenue was named the Rolle College in their honour in 1951.

John Varley, chief executive, the Clinton Devon Estates said: "Clinton Devon Estates, successor to the Rolle Estates, is delighted that the Rolle name will be associated with the University of Plymouth, after the strong links, over many years, with academic education in Exmouth. We hope too that, over time, the estate will develop a close relationship with the rural faculty at the University, aimed at supporting and facilitating a healthy rural land based economy in the West Country based on sharing knowledge, practical experience, science and learning".

Martin Berkien, Director of Learning Facilities, said the University was extremely proud of its association with one of Devon's most distinguished families. "The name of Rolle is indelibly linked with the Faculty of Education and it is only right and proper that connection continues, following the move from Exmouth to Plymouth," said Mr Berkien.

Acting Vice-Chancellor Steve Newstead said: "I am proud that the Clinton Devon Estates has so kindly agreed to the continued association of Rolle with the Faculty of Education and hope such a familiar name will ensure students feel even more welcome when they join us in Plymouth."

James Square Development

Notes to Editors:

For further information please contact the University of Plymouth Press Office on (01752) 588004 /

About the University of Plymouth

Ranked top modern university in the UK*, Plymouth is a national leader for teaching excellence. This achievement has helped it to secure an extra £33 million in funding over the next five years. It has a record nine National Teaching Fellowships** and demonstrates research of both national and international excellence.

With around 30,000 students (including those who study at partner FE colleges within the University of Plymouth Colleges faculty) it is one of the largest universities in the UK and proud to retain its reputation for friendliness. With a track record of 'widening participation', business partnerships and vocational courses, it has a high rate of graduate employment and is committed to improving the student experience, demonstrated by significant investment in new facilities.

* Guardian higher education league table, May 2007
** Including two with the Peninsula Medical School