Planner’s praise for university

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The University of Derby Buxton is an exemplar of how higher education can be at the heart of a town’s regeneration, one of the country’s leading planners has said.

All three finalists in the Great Town 2014 Award contest run by the Academy of Urbanism had universities in their centres, said Richard Guise, the lead assessor in the contest and a chartered architect and town planner.

And although Buxton did not win the title, its university was a prime example of the way higher education and regeneration so often went hand in hand, he said.

Mr Guise told a meeting celebrating the first anniversary of Buxton Town Team that too many university campuses were on the edge of towns: “Campuses need to be in towns – they are people-based activities.

“We were particularly impressed with the activity of the university,” he said of his fellow judges.

Even the academic study fitted in with the physical setting: “These aren’t just bolt-on courses you can find anywhere, they are hospitality or leisure uses in the countryside that are place-specific - and that reinforces the relationship between the town, the people and the locality.”