THE Marine Station on Millport in the Firth of Clyde – which has been earmarked by owners, the University of London trustees, for closure after funding was pulled by the Higher Education Funding Council for England – has been a part of my family for more than 40 years, employing my mother, father, big sister, myself and now my niece.
I remember the outcry when the Scottish Marine Biological Association (now the Scottish Marine Institute or Scottish Association for Marine Science) moved from Millport to Oban. Thankfully, the University of London and University of Glasgow showed sense and realised how important the station was to research in marine biology.
Since then, the station has gone from strength to strength and is greatly admired for the facilities it provides. How many professors, doctors and students have passed through its doors? How many have had papers published through the Marine Station? Can they be contacted and asked to bring pressure on those involved in discussing the station’s future prospects?
Can Michael Gove and David Willetts, UK ministers for education and universities and science respectively, not get together with Prime Minister David Cameron and sort this out?
I realise as the station is north of the Border, it doesn’t directly concern Westminster but, as we all know, it most certainly affects all universities involved in marine research across the United Kingdom and the decision which has imperilled it was made in England. Surely, Mr Cameron can find a few million to help save this home-grown gem, possibly under the auspices of a committee made of representatives of all those who use and value the station as a unique research facility?
Sandra Finlayson McLaughlin
Save Millport’s Marine Biology Station