Cambridge project with Marconi under review

September 14, 2001

Cambridge University this week denied reports that its plans to build a world-class £40 million Communications Research Centre had collapsed following financial difficulties at its sponsor, electronics giant Marconi, writes Caroline Davis.

However, a spokesman for the company admitted that the project was under review. He said that final planning approval had not yet been granted but that all sides in the project were now in agreement.

The plan, agreed in March 2000 for an initial six-year period, is for a £12 million Marconi research laboratory to share the building with the £28 million Cambridge University facility.

The university said that Marconi had fulfilled its financial commitments up to date but admitted it had not received full payment for the building.

A new Marconi professorship was also planned.

Warwick University also dismissed any threat to its three-year partnership degree in electronics and communication with Marconi. Evor Hines, of Warwick's School of Engineering, said Marconi had agreed to honour its commitment to the first intake of 12 to 15 students and had written to students who had met the grades to begin this autumn to reassure them that they still had a place.

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