The University of Derby made the shock announcement yesterday to axe several degree courses at the Buxton campus over the next three years. In a review of their current offering, the Centre for Contemporary Hospitality and Tourism, which delivers courses in Hospitality, Tourism and Event Management, will relocate to Derby from 2020, with Culinary Arts students making the same move from 2021.
Spa Management and Outdoor courses in Buxton will close in 2022, once all current students have graduated, reflecting a shift within these sectors to more industry-led qualifications which has led to a steady decline in student numbers over recent years.
We contacted the University with a few questions following the announcement:
How will the Spa operate once students are no longer running it – what are the long term plans for the spa going forward?
“The Devonshire Spa will continue to operate, supported by our students until 2022, and transition into a stand-alone commercial facility to support the town’s visitor economy”, said the University.
Why was this decision taken to move so many HE courses to Derby?
“In recent years our higher education student numbers have steadily declined in Buxton and these proposed changes are part of a broader, ongoing review of the University’s portfolio. Over the coming months we will be consulting widely, working in collaboration with industry leads and key stakeholders to help shape our thinking and deliver an approach which best supports Buxton’s long-term plans and ambitions”.
Which HE courses WILL remain, if any, at Buxton? And will there be any post graduate offering at Buxton?
Students who are currently part of the Centre for Contemporary Hospitality and Tourism (CCHT) will continue to study at the Buxton Campus until 2022.
All new CCHT students from 2020 will be based at the Derby Campus.
Culinary students will remain in Buxton until 2021.
Will the campus purely house Buxton and Leek College once the courses are moved to Derby?
Plans are being developed to optimise use of the Devonshire Dome and surrounding campus. The University is working closely with the business community and other strategic bodies to ensure that the future activities in the Dome support the growth of the town’s economy.
Professor Malcolm Todd, Deputy Vice-Chancellor/Provost (Academic and Student Experience) at the University of Derby, said: “The University of Derby is proud to be an integral part of Buxton and is a key partner in supporting the town’s long-term growth and ambition. The changes announced today not only help to achieve that, but also enable the University to deliver against its broader civic commitments across the county and the opportunities for the regional economy offered up by the Industrial Strategy.”
This announcement kick-starts a period of consultation to help inform further thinking on how the University’s presence in Buxton can best benefit the town, its residents and the local economy.
“We recognise the importance of the University’s presence in the town, and the civic and commercial opportunities of the Devonshire Dome which are not currently being fully exploited,” said Professor Todd. “There is such potential to maximise the industrial strengths of the town and surrounding area and numerous options we could pursue.
“Over the coming months we will be consulting widely, working in collaboration with industry leads and key stakeholders to help shape our thinking and deliver an approach which best supports Buxton’s long-term plans and ambitions.”
Cllr Anthony McKeown, Leader of High Peak Borough Council, said: “We welcome the commitment of the University of Derby to Buxton and to continuing to work closely with the Council and other partners.
“The University plays an important role in both supporting our plans for Buxton town centre and safeguarding the Devonshire Dome and I look forward to strengthening our partnership to enhance and develop both for the future.”
Further details on the consultation exercise will be released shortly.