Work starts on Cornwall's environment institute

The ESI will be built in Penryn - Pic: University of Exeter
Image caption The ESI is expected to be ready by summer 2012

Work is starting on a new Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI) in Cornwall.

Around £30m is being invested in the building at the University of Exeter's Tremough campus at Penryn.

The Regional Development Agency said the creation of the institute would create 800 energy-related jobs.

Cornwall Council said last month it wants the county to become a "living laboratory" for the development of green energy in the UK.

The institute will carry out research to develop environment and sustainability projects in Cornwall.

'Pioneering development'

Professor Steve Smith, vice-chancellor of the University of Exeter, said: "The ESI will build on the university's research strengths in climate change and environmental science.

"It is a pioneering development in linking academia so closely with business and our staff have been actively helping Cornish businesses to succeed."

The University of Exeter has 1,600 students based at Tremough. This is expected to rise to 2,150 by 2015. Nearly a third come from the South West.

Building work on the ESI is expected to be finished by summer 2012.

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