Meet the mobile magnate behind new £40 million sports complex
Tory donor turns his cash to notts
The University has announced plans to commence construction of a new £40 million sports centre, in February 2015.
The decision has been made following a significant donation from UoN alum and entrepreneur; David Ross, who some say had a hand in the naming of the new complex; ‘The David Ross Sports Village’.
As the Co-founder of Carphone Warehouse, the University of Nottingham is not the only party to benefit from Ross’ munificent hand. Since 2006 the Tories have received over £230,000 in donations from the telephone tycoon.
Ross was then tipped as lead candidate for the new Ofsted chairman. Unremarkably, questions were raised about the transparency of the Conservative party’s recruitment process.
Apart from brushings with the law over share scandals and Lithuanian escorts, it seems Ross also has a philanthropic side with particular focus on education, so the Tab caught up with the debauching dealer to discuss his latest fling with the university.
You are of course an alum of the university, what about your time here has prompted such generous donations?
I had a very good time for a start, played a fair amount of sport myself and it became clear in my time that they probably needed a new sports facility at some stage and that was a while ago!
Why sport in particular?
I think that a vibrant university should have a vibrant sporting environment alongside it, around it and as part of it. I think good sports facilities are important to keep the university attractive to undergraduates.
Education is clearly something you’re passionate about, were you surprised to be pipped for the position of Ofsted chairman and is this a position you’d like to hold in the future?
The most important thing for me is that we run the schools under the David Ross Education Trust as well as we possibly can… In terms of Ofsted; that was a particular set of circumstances that came around as a result of discussions and my relationship with Michael Gove and Michael Gove is no longer at the Department of Education and therefore once that became clear I wasn’t that surprised that it would be a job I might not get. I’m not sat here in bitterness and disappointment I can assure you; it might have been what you call a lucky escape! Let’s put it another way: the main reason why I applied was because I was an enthusiastic supporter of his ambitions for education.
How has your time at Nottingham helped you achieve the success you have today?
I was incredibly well educated in the law department at Nottingham University… they challenged you and they educated you in equal measure and that was great. If you are challenged at University, you make good friendships, you enjoy your time there… then that has to increase your chances of going on to success in other fields in life. If I were to be talking to an undergraduate today I would urge them to enter into the opportunities that Nottingham offers with enthusiasm and commitment in the hope that that will set them up well for what they want to achieve in life.