IT was no real surprise to learn that the New Model Institute for Technology and Engineering (NMITE) – Hereford’s new university – would not be opening as planned in September.

Once the lockdown was imposed there was little realistic likelihood that the ambitious project would be able to achieve its immediate goal.

Building work on its sites in Blackfriars Street and at Skylon Park, Rotherwas, was brought to a halt. The vital validation process need to approve the institution’s academic programme and officially sanction its description as a university was suspended.

RELATED NEWS: New university will not be opening in September

But this is a merely a setback. The NMITE vision still burns bright.

In an exclusive interview with the Hereford Times, which we shared only with fellow members of the BBC-funded Local News Partnership, NMITE president Elena Rodriguez-Falcon, said the flexibility of the university’s courses meant students could enrol as soon as conditions were more favourable.

Like her, the Hereford Times looks forward to welcoming NMITE students to the city in ever greater numbers.

The development of high-technology skills here will be a boon to local companies.

Students’ spending will also boost Hereford’s night-time economy and lend additional vibrancy and diversification to the cultural scene.

The wait goes on for the doors to open on this touchstone project... but the wait will be worthwhile!