TOP brass at the University of Bath have sealed the fate of its Swindon campus.

Two weeks ago it emerged that university experts were recommending closing the Oakfield campus.

Now university bigwigs have rubber stamped the plan.

The university will now begin talks on when and how it will pull out.

"Despite the many successes achieved by our staff and the other stakeholders at Oakfield we have been unable to develop a robust business model for the site," said Professor Glynis Breakwell, university vice-chancellor.

"Whilst it is disappointing that we have had to come to this conclusion, we hope it will not affect our capacity to maintain and develop close links with schools and colleges, the social and health services, and businesses in the Swindon area."

For years the University of Bath had been planning to create a campus at Coate.

But the idea ran into trouble and earlier this year it finally scrapped the plan.

When that happened it set up a probe into the future of the Oakfield campus which it created in 2001.

And last month it said that without a bigger campus Oakfield was not financially viable'.

South Swindon MP Anne Snelgrove said that she was disappointed but not surprised by the decision and that she had raised the issue with ministers - including on issues to do with funding for the Oakfield campus.

"I am unconvinced that Bath is the right university to continue working with Swindon's schools and colleges given their abrupt decision to pull out of Oakfield," she said.

"It is an issue of trust and confidence and there are question marks over both due to the cavalier way in which the university has behaved.

"I would prefer a clean break so that we can forge links with a university which truly has our town's interests at heart."

Councillor Phil Young, cabinet member for economic development on Swindon Council, said: "I think the university will find it very challenging to continue at the same capacity as it is doing.

"And I think the people of Swindon will find it harder to relate to them if they don't have a base here.

"It will be interesting to see what plans the university has to maintain its capacity.

"They haven't yet told us how they will do that or when the campus will close. It's all still up in the air.

"So what we need to do is accept that and crack on and focus on the partnership we can forge with the University of the West of England."