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Warwick’s lost American dream: £305,000 spent on scrapped campus

The University of Warwick spent over £305,000 preparing to build a campus in California – plans for which have since been scrapped.

According to new information released under the Freedom of Information Act, the University incurred costs of £305,353 to complete due diligence in relation to the Warwick in California project.

The University noted: “These costs were incurred before the project formally commenced and cannot be recuperated.”

“All other project activities conducted by Warwick have been fully funded by the University Development Foundation (UDF),” with the exception of a gift donated to the UDF. “This funding has covered the actual costs of University of Warwick’s staff time, travel and any third party work, such as market research.”

Furthermore the University received a gift of £4,535 which was utilised to fund project activity. The gift does not need to be returned now that the scheme has been cancelled.

The University declined to provide details of the original or revised budget for the Warwick in California project

The University declined to provide details of the original or revised budget for the Warwick in California project, arguing that the “release of the requested information would prejudice the commercial interests of the University, the UDF, and those of the University’s partners in California.”

Releasing full details of Warwick in California’s budget would “provide valuable insight into the University’s development strategies which could be used by other Higher Education institutions or key competitors to their own commercial advantage.

“In addition, the disclosure of the requested information would prejudice the University and its partners’ ability in future negotiations in similar areas and seriously affect its ability to secure value for
money.”

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