How will closure of Dartington College affect Totnes and the surrounding area?
- Traders in Totnes are very concerned not only of the negative economic implications, but also about Totnes and the surrounding area losing it’s unique character that makes it such a special and popular place.
- Loss of young people in the area. Not only loss of students but also a proportion who stay and make their lives here. Many rural areas have difficulty retaining and attracting young people due to work and opportunities.
- Dartington College is not just an institution separate from the local area. It is part of a living web of people established over many years that reaches into the heart of the community in many ways – something that is not necessarily immediately obvious. ‘Totnes without Dartington will be like Brixham without the harbour’
- Totnes and South Hams are unique in sustaining such a thriving arts and creative community. Ten years on what will the area look like without the dynamic influence Dartington College has on an area in so many ways, both culturally and economically and in areas not specifically related to the arts?
- Many aspects of the local economy and thriving areas such as alternative health, spiritual centres and areas not specifically related to the arts college may be affected if the culture and atmosphere of Totnes changes.
- Rather than loss of students freeing up accommodation – housing specialists say that it is more likely that landlords will sell properties if they cannot rent to students. As prices in Tones are high this will most likely lead to more houses being owned as second homes. Many students live with families and this will mean loss of local income.
- Loss of a local, national and international resource. Dartington College is not just a place on the map – bricks and mortar! It is a magical place and loss of this college will mean a significant loss of the practice and wider impact of the principles on which it was based – principles that offer us a way forward and are very relevant to the modern world.
- Loss of skilled creative practitioners in the area – 100 staff members. For academic staff there are now very few opportunities for work in the South West – as Exeter University music department was closed last year.
- Loss of training resource in the area – many of the artists, community artists, teachers, creative arts therapists in the area trained at Dartington – either as local people or students who have stayed and made their lives here.
- Devon is a large county and increasingly students need to study nearer to home due to fees. The only place to study music in Devon, train or to teach at University level in music will be at Plymouth. Dartington offers courses that are different to the mainstream arts education.
- Nationally many university departments are being closed – and many departments have either been closed, are under threat of closure or have been merged losing individual identities and diversity.
- Loss of jobs to the area, loss of students for local employers. Loss of income from students.
- Dartington is unique. It holds a recognised place in higher education in the UK offering courses that cannot be found anywhere else in the country. It is recognised by the higher education authorities as having an outstanding contemporary performance arts portfolio.