McTaggart Critical of Scottish Government’s Failure to Keep University Marine Biological Station Millport Open

Anne McTaggart MSP has criticised the Scottish Government for failing to independently fund the University Marine Biological Station Millport – an exceptional biological science facility based in Millport – after the recent decision to close this important national resource.

Ms McTaggart was speaking in Margaret McDougall MSP’s members’ debate on Thursday 16th May 2013.

The University Marine Biological Station at Millport is ideally situated for marine biological teaching and research. In addition to providing marine biological teaching for its parent university, The University of London, the station also has a substantial national role in providing facilities and logistical support for field teaching by Universities throughout the UK.

Last month the government offered support to the staff of the facility, but this did not extend to a commitment to independently fund the facility following the regrettable decision by the University of London.

Anne McTaggart MSP said:

“We know that the Higher Education Funding Council for England has withdrawn the £400, 000 it awards to the University of London to run the station. Whilst this is a devastating blow for the staff and students that use the facility, I believe that we should invest in the science facility at Millport to safeguard jobs and maintain the quality of Scottish scientific research.

“Contrast the £400,00 with the £468,000 that Alex Salmond spent on his trip to the Ryder Cup last year and we can see where the First Ministers priorities really lie.

“I believe this is a short sighted approach of the Scottish Government, and one that will negatively impact both the local economy in North Ayrshire and the quality of research undertaken by Scottish Universities and their students.”

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