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Prince Edward to visit De Montfort University


His Royal Highness Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex, is to visit De Monfort University (DMU).

The Prince will officially open the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Leisure Centre and pay a visit to the award-winning Square Mile project on 23 January, 2013.

This will be the second Royal visit to DMU in the space of 10 months.

Her Majesty The Queen, accompanied by Their Royal Highnesses The Duke of Edinburgh and The Duchess of Cambridge, launched her Diamond Jubilee tour of the nation at the university in March.

Professor Dominic Shellard, Vice-Chancellor of DMU, said: “It is a great honour for De Montfort University to be afforded a second Royal Visit in the space of 10 months.

“All students and staff who saw The Queen on campus in March this year, with Their Royal Highnesses The Duke Of Edinburgh and The Duchess of Cambridge, will know DMU will do all it can to ensure Prince Edward’s visit is an event to remember.

“This celebration will, once again, give us the opportunity to showcase our passion, commitment and spirit of innovation which exemplifies DMU, its students and its staff.

“I am particularly pleased that the Royal Household is recognising the significance of DMU opening a new leisure centre and naming it after The Queen to celebrate her Diamond Jubilee year.

“I am also delighted that Prince Edward will take time to visit the Square Mile project and the community it serves. His father, The Duke Of Edinburgh, attended a special presentation about the project during the March Royal Visit and was hugely impressed by what he saw.”

The £8 million state-of-the-art leisure centre, which was opened to the public in July, boasts a 25 metre swimming pool, climbing wall, eight court sports hall, fitness suite, free weights area, dance studio and café.

DMU was given special permission by the Government to name the leisure centre in honour of The Queen and her Diamond Jubilee.

The Square Mile project was launched in September 2011 and was the brainchild of Professor Dominic Shellard. It draws on the skills and expertise of students and academics to make a difference in a community in the Fosse Road/Tudor Road, Newfoundpool and Woodgate area of Leicester, close to the campus.

Staff and students from the university have worked with local residents in the Square Mile area to develop more than 35 initiatives which range from learning new skills to finding jobs, improving health and raising aspirations.  

Earlier this month the project was honoured with two awards which recognise sustainability in higher education around the world – the Green Gown Social Responsibility Award and the Green Gown International Category for Social Responsibility.

In February of this year, Professor Dominic Shellard was also named as one of ‘Britain’s New Radicals’ by The Observer newspaper and the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (Nesta) for creating the Square Mile project.

Born in 1964, Prince Edward was created The Earl of Wessex and Viscount Severn on his marriage in 1999.

The Earl of Wessex has a busy programme. As well as duties in support of The Queen, the Earl plays an active role in The Duke of Edinburgh's Award, the programme for young people set up by his father in the 1950s.

He also works on behalf of a number of charities and organisations, particularly those connected with the arts, sport and young people

Posted on Tuesday 27th November 2012

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