Maritime academy to scale back its Warsash facilities

From left, Mayor of Fareham Cllr Mike Ford, executive leader Cllr Sean Woodward and Warsash councillor Cllr Trevor Cartwright in Warsash last year
From left, Mayor of Fareham Cllr Mike Ford, executive leader Cllr Sean Woodward and Warsash councillor Cllr Trevor Cartwright in Warsash last year

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PLANS to scale back education at Warsash Maritime Academy and move its classrooms to Southampton are to go ahead.

Southampton Solent University, which runs the academy, has announced that it will be moving its facilities from the upper part of the Newtown Road site to its central Southampton campus.

The academy, which has 150 staff and about 5,000 students, will be retaining the specialist facilities on the shore, on the lower part of the site.

Warsash ward councillor Trevor Cartwright said there were mixed views locally.

He said: ‘It will be interesting to see what they will do with the top site.

‘Hopefully we will be able to have a say on any housing and parking.

‘And hopefully the sea cadets can continue as it is such a good waterfront location for them.’

Fareham’s council leader Sean Woodward held a meeting with Solent University’s vice-chancellor professor Graham Baldwin last week.

Cllr Woodward said he was pleased the navigation school, which has operated from the site since 1902, would stay where it was.

He also welcomed the site for housing as it would be classed as a brownfield site and said that potential development would take place in 2020 once the site has been cleared.

Mr Baldwin said the changes were necessary to keep up with the rapidly changing world of maritime education.

He also said that the plans were part of a review, which started last February.

He said: ‘Greater competition, uncertainty around the future of funding, and a requirement to respond to the growing needs and demands of the maritime industry means we must ensure a learning experience that consistently meets and exceeds expectations for maritime education and training.

‘Shaped by a recent review of our provision, there is a need to develop a cohesive school that offers an enhanced learning experience with access to the full range of university facilities and services.

‘We appreciate any relocation has its challenges but we will ensure that the transition will be carefully planned to minimise the impact on staff, clients and officer cadets.’