DEPUTY FIRST MINISTER COMMENDS COLLABORATIVE APPROACH TO REVITALISING THE WAY WE WORK, LIVE, STUDY AND PLAY AT THE CRICHTON
Collaboration is key to the ongoing success of The Crichton in Dumfries and this week, Deputy First Minister, John Swinney MSP met with members of the Crichton Campus Leadership Group (CCLG) to discuss the strategic priorities of the partnership.
The Scottish Government backed the establishment of the Crichton Campus Leadership Group in 2013 and with co-operation from the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) they launched the Group with representation from the five academic partners; Dumfries and Galloway College, The Open University in Scotland, Scotland’s Rural College, University of Glasgow and University of the West of Scotland. The Crichton Trust, The Crichton Foundation, Crichton Carbon Centre, Dumfries and Galloway Council, NHS Dumfries and Galloway, Scottish Enterprise, Skills Development Scotland and the South of Scotland Economic Partnership are also active members of the Group.
In welcoming the Deputy First Minister to The Crichton, Dame Barbara Kelly, CCLG Chairman, was delighted to engage CCLG Members in a discussion with the Minister around the importance of the partnership and the strategic priorities for The Crichton going forward and valued the opportunity to report on the achievements of the Group to date.
Building on over 20 years’ experience, the partners discussed their Statement of Ambition and outlined the priorities relating to sustaining and growing equitable and accessible learning opportunities that are responsive to the needs of the rural area. They clearly identified their plans to increase Higher Education provision in the region and to offer more choice to learners. As well as offering a high-quality educational experience, the Group stressed that in order to ensure the future sustainability and success of The Crichton Campus, all learners must also benefit from an enhanced and vibrant student experience.
In fitting with the theme of the visit, The Deputy First Minister also paid a visit to Criffel View, which is prominently located between the academic campus and The Crichton Business Park, to hear from The Crichton Trust about their plans for developing the building into Crichton Central to create new flexible ways to work and collaborate. It is hoped that Crichton Central will attract new businesses and further enhance the facilities and opportunities for exchanging ideas and knowledge between those in academia and those in business.
The Crichton partners are keen to harness the economic asset of an ageing population and to build an age-friendly, inter-generational, knowledge exchange community where people of all ages can work, innovate, invent, learn, live and contribute physically, economically, socially and culturally for as long as possible.
Commenting on the strength of local partnerships, the Deputy First Minister said: “All partners recognise the importance of a collaborative approach to delivering Higher and Further Education across Dumfries and Galloway.
It was very encouraging during this visit to see academic and business partners working more closely with local agencies and to hear their plans to tailor learning opportunities to meet the specific needs of regional employers. Partners are also committed to enhancing the student experience and increasing research and knowledge exchange activities.
The ambition to put The Crichton on the world map as a Centre for Business Innovation and Collaboration is exciting news for the South of Scotland and should significantly contribute to the economic prosperity and wellbeing of the region.”
Dame Barbara Kelly, Chairman of the Crichton Campus Leadership Group said: “The Crichton partners strongly believe that The Crichton, Dumfries and Galloway and the wider South of Scotland has untapped potential to contribute to the Scottish economy and as a group we are committed to addressing the unique needs of the region, our learners and employers and in supporting inclusive growth through continued collaboration. We very much welcomed the visit from the Deputy First Minister to The Crichton this week and hope that he will add his support to our ambitious plans for The Crichton and the South of Scotland.”