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Rolle College, Exmouth

By This is Exeter  |  Posted: July 14, 2008

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THE Rolle family brought wealth to Exmouth by developing its docks and shipbuilding industry.

Lord Rolle had opulent mansions and villas built, encouraging the affluent retired to see out their days in the resort.

The family were liberal patrons and spent much of their wealth on churches, chapels, assembly rooms and municipal buildings, also providing gas, electricity and water supplies throughout the town. This benevolence continued through the family's descendants, the Clintons, throughout the last century.

To commemorate the generosity the families had shown to the town, the former teacher training college in Douglas Avenue was named Rolle College in their honour in 1951. Plymouth University bosses first announced they wanted to move staff and students to the city in 2005 and since then those at Rolle have campaigned fiercely against the controversial decision.

Locals in Exmouth are also against the closure, saying it will be devastating for the local economy.

A consortium now hopes to buy part of the campus.

Ideas for its future have included a Lifelong Learning Centre, and school space to combat overcrowding at primary level. The consortium was disappointed when Plymouth University pulled out of exclusive negotiations and put the college on the open market for sale.

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