Warsash Maritime Academy site review sparks fears from village residents

The Warsash Maritime Academy seen from the air
The Warsash Maritime Academy seen from the air
Eleanor Warringer, 10, from Alverstoke
C of E Junior School, with Baa-bara the sheep

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CONCERNS have been raised by villagers that a maritime academy could close as it is under review by the university which runs it.

The Warsash Maritime Academy, which has around 5,000 students, is being looked at by Southampton Solent University as part of a business review.

Although the university denied that any plans were in place to close the site.

This review has prompted fears that the site, which has been a college since 1902, will be closed or scaled back.

Warsash ward councillor Trevor Cartwright said he had been in talks with the university after several residents and businesses raised their concerns with him.

Cllr Cartwright said: ‘I am concerned as it brings prosperity to Warsash.

‘Students parking in the village have been a problem but that’s a drop in the ocean,

‘I am concerned that if it goes altogether it could be the writing on the wall for Warsash.’

Cllr Cartwright said he feared the site could be snapped up by developers and it could be turned into housing due to its prime waterfront location.

He also said that businesses that rely on the student pound were worried about the prospect of it leaving.

James O’Grady, 41, is the manager of the Jolly Farmer pub.

He said: ‘It is completely crazy.

‘It would be very detrimental to the area. It would be very bad for business.’

Council leader Sean Woodward said the news has brought ‘great uncertainty’ to the village and encouraged the university to open up its discussions with the council.

He said: ‘It would be terrible news if it decided to close the school of navigation.’

There are 150 staff at the site and around 5,000 students on long and short courses.

A spokesman for Southampton Solent University said: ‘We are in the process of carrying out a business review looking at the best way to invest in and develop our world-leading maritime education.

‘Following extensive stakeholder engagement, this report will go to the board of governors for decision later this spring.

‘The outcome of which will be announced to staff, students and the wider community.’

Southampton Solent University has recently invested £30m into a new building at its East Park Terrace campus in Southampton. This is currently being constructed and is due to open January 2016.