Sir Tom gets own campus!

ONE of Sunderland's best-known businessmen is to get an entire university campus named in his honour.

Bosses at Sunderland University have decided to rename the St Peter's Campus after Sir Tom Cowie.

Sir Tom founded a car sales chain that has now grown into the transport company Arriva, which runs the train services that link his home town of Sunderland with Newcastle and Hartlepool.

A special ceremony is due to be held on September 9 at the university's David Goldman Infomatics Centre to celebrate the renaming.

The millionaire businessman, now in his late 70s, started his career at the age of 15 with his father's cycle repair business.

After serving in the RAF during the war, he resurrected the motorcycle business before moving into the car market and later into finance.

He became chairman of Sunderland AFC in June 1980 but quit in 1986 and resigned as a director the following year.

He was made an OBE in 1982 and knighted for his political and public service 10 years later.

His company, formerly called Cowies but now called Arriva, has branched out into transport, running trains and buses.

There is already a lecture theatre at the St Peter's Campus named in his honour.

The campus, on the north shore of the River Wear, is one of the newest parts of the university , only being completed in the 1990s .

It is home to many business courses run by the university and will be known as the Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter's.

It took its original name from the church which stands on the edge of the campus.