County News: Early talks on plans for new Brighton of University campus in West Sussex town

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A University of Brighton higher education campus could be created in the centre of a West Sussex town it has been announced today.

Novartis, the pharmaceutical giant, is currently negotiating the sale of their Horsham site with the Sussex-based university after its operations ceased in the town last year.

If agreed a high-quality centre for higher education could create an estimated 2,250 new jobs, bring £1.7bn of investment into the region over 10 years, and provide around 3,500 places for students.

Initial proposals would see the retention of many buildings on-site, including the Art Deco structure, office space, and the laboratories, alongside a new student village in the south east corner of the site to accommodate up to 2,000 students.

Julian Crampton, vice-chancellor of the University of Brighton, said: “We are pleased to confirm that we have entered into negotiations to acquire the former Novartis site in Horsham.

“These discussions are at an early stage, but if the sale goes ahead, we plan to open an innovative, high-quality centre for higher education that will give a major boost to jobs, skills and business opportunities in the Gatwick Diamond area.

“We will be working closely with Horsham District Council and the Coast to Capital Local Economic Partnership, as well as local business, schools and colleges, to ensure our plans develop in a way that benefits the local economy and the local community.”

The northern part of the site off Parsonage Road, which included the staff car park and sports ground, was sold to Linden Homes last year, who gained permission from Horsham District Council for 160 new homes.