Saturday, April 7, 2012
The former Dean of Rolle College, Mike Newby, has outlined his vision that the Rolle Centre will become a centre of training, excellence and education for people of all ages.
Mike moved to Exmouth in 1989, when he took up the post of Dean at what was then the Rolle Faculty of Education.
During his tenure, he saw the institution grow in its academic range, its student numbers and also in its physical presence in the town - and it was under his leadership that the Owen Building was built.
Now a director of the not-for-profit Rolle Exmouth Limited, Mike recently walked around the Rolle buildings for the first time since he retired as Dean in 2004.
He said: “Then, it was a place full of life, but my recent walk was down empty corridors and into silent rooms.”
He said this was why he joined the Rolle Centre cause: “I joined Rolle Exmouth Limited a little over a year ago to try to do something about it. I’m convinced that, by inhabiting Rolle again, we can give it a new focus.”
He said that their plans for the Rolle Centre go further than when it was used as a teacher training college; and he sees real potential as a local business hub.
He said: “The world of work, of wealth creation, of employment and all the ingenuity and effort which goes to making businesses succeed; these are things we want to stimulate at Rolle, and that hasn’t happened there before.”
Mike says that other uses include making it available for residents to hold anything from small meetings to ‘great gatherings’.
“But above all we want to see education and training back at Rolle,” he said. “There is nothing written in stone which says that the young people of Exmouth must travel up the A376 each day to go to college elsewhere when there’s a good college in their own home town.
“Once the Rolle Centre is back in business, it will be important for Exmouth’s future that people of all ages can come once more to learn vital skills at Rolle.”
“None of this can happen, though, without money. That’s why we are launching a share issue, so people here and everywhere can buy a stake in the most exciting thing that’s happened in Exmouth for generations.
“I have, and I hope readers of the Journal and their friends and families will feel they can do the same.”