FAREHAM Borough councillors have met a university chief to discuss the future of Warsash Maritime Academy.
Cllr Seán Woodward, executive leader of Fareham Borough Council and Warsash councillors Trevor Cartwright and Mike Ford had a meeting with Professor Mike Wilkinson, deputy vice-chancellor of Southampton Solent University on Friday.
Concerns have been raised over the university’s announcement to review the facilities at the maritime campus.
Three options were tabled at the discussion.
Either the university will spend money on the Warsash campus so that it can continue to run maritime training and education, or it will move it to Southampton and dispose of the site for possible development.
The third option would be a hybrid solution where the waterfront facilities at Warsash campus are retained and improved in, while the remainder of the site is disposed of for development, and services that do not need to go out on the water are moved to new facilities at East Park Terrace.
Cllr Woodward said: ‘There is significant local concern about the future of the Warsash Maritime Academy.
‘I was pleased to visit the site with local councillors so we could appreciate the breadth of the training delivered as well as the local economic benefits of the training to Warsash. It was also an opportunity to understand the aims and ambitions of the university.
‘I understand any possible changes will not take effect until 2018 at the earliest and we will engage with the university so we can reflect local issues and understand their aims and ambitions.’
Mr Wilkinson said: ‘We place great value on our maritime education and training provision and we need to ensure we are able to continue the standard of excellence that enables us to consistently meet and exceed expectations for maritime education and training.’
The Warsash Maritime Academy, in Newton Road, has been on that site for more than 100 years and provides education and training to international shipping and offshore oil industries, as well as training the British Merchant Navy.