Future of Elmwood in doubt, admits college boss

Elmwood campus, Cupar
Elmwood campus, Cupar

The boss of Scotland’s Rural College has admitted that the future of the Elmwood campus in Cupar is uncertain.

Professor Wayne Powell, principal and chief executive of SRUC reaffirmed, however, that the college was still committed to delivering education in Fife.

He visited the campus yesterday to hosted discussion meetings with staff, students and external stakeholders to explain SRUC’s new strategy.

Prof Powell said: “I acknowledge the uncertainty that exists around the future of Elmwood campus but want to make it clear that we value the huge expertise and commitment of colleagues and students at the campus and that we will be continuing to deliver in Fife.

“Whether on not we remain at the current Elmwood building long term is dependent on a number of issues, such as the outcome of the current Scottish Funding Council review of local education provision, future student numbers and the ideas and feedback we gather locally during this vital period of engagement on our new strategy.

“We need viable business solutions that allow us to sustainably deliver what is needed locally. This will require the on-going involvement of all our staff and students as well as local partnerships. I’m grateful to all those who attended today’s meetings and thank them for their feedback.”

Prof Powell and other members of SRUC’s senior management team are currently touring a number of SRUC sites around Scotland to describe the direction the college will take to better serve the nation’s rural communities and economy.

The new discussion document, ‘Towards a new strategy for SRUC’ describes how SRUC will strengthen the ways in which the three key areas of its business – research, education and consulting – work together to deliver benefits to the rural sector.

With a presence across Scotland emphasis is placed on SRUC’s continued regional delivery, involving strengthened industry and community partnerships and a greater commercial approach. This will require a decentralisation of decision-making to ensure local needs are well understood and acted upon quickly and appropriately.

SRUC invites comments on the strategy between now and Friday, May 12.

Open meetings will be held around Scotland, with additional opportunities to respond online. More details can be found at www.sruc.ac.uk/engage.