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Pioneering University Centre Shrewsbury students arrive to a big welcome

University Centre Shrewsbury's first undergraduates and second intake of postgraduates are being welcomed to the town. Established by the University of Chester and Shropshire Council, with the community, University Centre Shrewsbury aims to bring new and varied prospects for students, the town and Shropshire.

The students, who will be embarking on a range of courses, will be introduced to the town and community during the next week.

Representatives from a range of organisations have shared their greetings and thanks to everyone involved.

Professor Anna Sutton, University Centre Shrewsbury's Provost said: "This is a landmark moment in the development of University Centre Shrewsbury (UCS), which wouldn't have been possible without the contribution of councillors, businesses, residents and others across the town, county and region.

"It is a privilege to work alongside the community to establish a University from its very beginnings in this beautiful town and look at the ways we can support the area to benefit from the range of educational, social, cultural and economic opportunities available.

"We are looking forward to introducing Shrewsbury to the pioneering students, welcoming the students to their new home and seeing them become part of the fantastic Shrewsbury community."

Councillor Claire Wild, Shropshire Council's Cabinet Member for University Centre Shrewsbury, added: "This is the greatest opportunity for Shropshire. UCS is something that we have all worked together to bring - Shropshire Council and the University of Chester, alongside residents, community groups and businesses.

"That commitment to take it forward together is shared by us all so thank you to our students for choosing Shrewsbury and welcome. I am so proud that Shrewsbury will at last become a University town."

David Stacey, High Sheriff of Shropshire, offered his thoughts on the milestone: "There is a spring in the step of Shrewsbury, it's a town that is growing in confidence and the arrival of the new students will only add to that.

"They will inject vigour and vitality, their spending power will benefit the local economy and, when they graduate, this new pool of talent will attract employers and generate investment.

"A great number of people have worked incredibly hard to bring this about; I congratulate them, I thank them and I wish them every success."

The Rt Revd Mark Rylands, The Bishop of Shrewsbury, said: "New students will find the people of Shrewsbury both kind and accepting. As Anglican Bishop, I am sure the churches in Shrewsbury, of all denominations, will be delighted to offer a friendly welcome, generous hospitality, a place to grow spiritually as well as the opportunity for young people to contribute to serving the vulnerable in the community through, for example, volunteering.

"I have thoroughly enjoyed being part of the Advisory Board for the institution and working with a highly motivated and enthusiastic group of people who want to see an excellent University established in Shrewsbury."

Sir David Lees, Chair of the University for Shropshire Advisory Board, described the excitement surrounding the establishment of UCS and the new academic year: "Involvement in the evolution of UCS, which is a significant step towards the development of a fully-fledged University for Shrewsbury, has been particularly stimulating for someone who has spent most of his life in the world of business. I believe this is a most exciting project which will add value in different ways to the town and county.

"On behalf of the Advisory Board I would like to extend a very warm welcome to our first group of undergraduates. They are pioneers who I hope will benefit greatly from their experience at UCS and as part of Shrewsbury's community."

Charlotte Cadwallader, a student who started a three-year Master of Public Health course at University Centre Shrewsbury in 2014, provided a student's perspective: "I've really enjoyed my postgraduate studies to date at UCS and am looking forward to the new academic year.

"There is something very nice about being among the first students because we are getting something new which has not been offered before.

"UCS will help keep talented local students in the county, and attract ambitious students from other parts of the country and even internationally.

"The first undergraduates are going to find it just a great place to be because Shrewsbury is such a lovely town."

Daniel Kawczynski, MP for Shrewsbury and Atcham, outlined some of the benefits: "The arrival of the University Centre marks an exciting time for Shrewsbury.

"For local businesses, it provides the opportunity for economic growth, and for students, the town offers a good mix of shops and places to socialise in a delightful setting, which will enhance their learning experience."

David McWilliam, Superintendent for Shropshire including the Shrewsbury Central Safer Neighbourhood Team which has been working closely with representatives from UCS for some time, said: "We're looking forward to welcoming UCS staff and the new students to the town.

"We will be working closely with our partners in Team Shrewsbury together with staff and students to ensure that UCS is part of the co-ordinated approach taken in the town to ensuring safety and wellbeing.

"These are very exciting times for Shrewsbury and my team is committed to contributing towards its success."

Chris Child, Chief Executive of Energize Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, explained the links being made between students, staff and sport and exercise groups: "The opening of UCS is a hugely exciting development for the county and at Energize we're looking forward to working in partnership such that the new students and staff will be actively welcomed into the local sport and exercise community.

"With courses across the sport management and exercise science spectrum, in addition to students enjoying activities in their leisure time, we envisage the University Centre breathing new life into the local system too."

Kirsten Henly, Shrewsbury Business Improvement District Manager, added: "On behalf of Shrewsbury BID, I'd like to say 'welcome' to the new students at UCS. We're sure they'll have a fantastic time studying in Shrewsbury.

"This year Shrewsbury was voted as both having the healthiest high street, and being the second happiest town in Britain, reflecting the town's wonderful mix of businesses, friendly community and beautiful open spaces and buildings.

"If you're among our newest residents, do take some well-earned time out to enjoy the town's food, entertainment, social and shopping offer - there are plenty of one-off places to explore and visit."

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