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Cornwall to get 30m environment research centre

21 July 2010 - BBC News

A new 30m environmental research centre is to be built in Cornwall and could create up to 800 jobs. The University of Exeter's Environment and Sustainability Institute will be built at the Combined Universities campus in Penryn. It is expected to create about 150 jobs initially, with the possibility of this increasing to 800 in the future. Construction work on the institute is due to start in February, with opening planned for summer 2012.

The project is being paid for by 23m from the European Regional Development Fund, plus money from the South West Regional Development Agency and the university. The university said more than 100 academic staff were to be recruited to work across the themes of clean technologies, natural environment and socio-economic research.

Stuart Bearhop, of the university, said: "We work on a number of issues that directly affect the South West. We're working on agricultural biodiversity, we're working on badgers and TB transmission. Although they're Cornwall issues, they're also international issues. So what we see the new institution doing is bringing work done in Cornwall to a truly international stage."

Three years ago, the Institute for Terrestrial Ecology - an organisation which did related work - was closed down, with the loss of several vitally important research jobs in Banchory in Aberdeenshire in Scotland.

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