Twenty-five years ago David Rossington predicted that the University of Lincoln would inject £50 million a year into the local economy – but he probably didn’t expect that figure to explode to an amazing £250 million.
David often quoted the £50 million figure when, as Chief Executive of the former Lincolnshire Training & Enterprise Council, he was part of the original team responsible for actually bringing a university to Lincoln.
This feature interview was first published in issue 48 of the Lincolnshire Business weekly magazine, now available to read at www.lincsbusiness.co. Subscribe to the email newsletter to receive the latest edition in your inbox this Friday.
It was a time when many people shared David’s (and his colleagues’) excitement. Doubters who might have suggested this was a pipe-dream, have been left to eat their words. It’s hardly surprising then, that as Chief Executive of Investors in Lincoln, David remains enthusiastically involved in city regeneration projects and he is confident that Lincoln’s star will continue to rise.
Lincolnshire-born and bred, he left the county in his mid-20s, and went to work in the West Midlands and Sheffield. David worked in central government roles, latterly for the Manpower Service Commission.
He had no particular plans to return to Lincoln, but the government’s decision to introduce Training & Enterprise Councils fired David’s interest and he snapped-up the opportunity to help establish the Lincolnshire TEC.
As Chief Executive from its launch in 1991 until the TECs were abolished in 2001, he was based at Beech House in Waterside South, Lincoln. At the height of the TEC’s operations, he oversaw 200 staff.
“I think that we made an important contribution towards helping many thousands of young people to get a foothold in the world of work and getting those who had been out of work a long time back into the work place,” said David.
“I was particularly proud of the work we did for those with ‘special needs’. Our focus on improving the Lincolnshire economy was behind our support for the University of Lincoln project.
“I felt very privileged to be involved with that from the outset. I believe it has made an amazing difference to Lincoln. I was thrilled when we set out our objectives of putting £50 million into the local economy. Now its economic impact is estimated to be £250 million.
“The TEC was private-sector led, but involved a partnership of business leaders, senior council officers and trades union representatives. Funding-wise, the devolvement of central government funds meant we could put money to work locally, rather than being dictated to from the centre.”
The full cover interview with David Rossington is available to read in full here. For the latest dispatch of business news from across Lincolnshire delivered in your inbox every Friday, subscribe to the Lincolnshire Business magazine.