County News: University of Brighton campus plan for Sussex town withdrawn

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The University of Brighton has announced today (Friday May 8) it has withdrawn plans to open a campus in a Sussex town.

The idea was to set up a Horsham campus on the Novartis site in Wimblehurst Road.

Professor Julian Crampton, the university’s vice-chancellor, said: “The university and many people living, working and wanting to study for higher education qualifications in the Horsham area, are profoundly disappointed with this outcome.

“We announced in January how we were in the very early stages of negotiations with Novartis for the purchase of its site to create a new university campus for the Gatwick Diamond area.

“Crucially, this initiative hinged on government funding. An application for this funding was submitted by the university, with support from the Coast to Capital Local Economic Partnership, local businesses and Horsham District Council. The outcome of the Regional Growth Fund round was announced by the then coalition government and, unfortunately, the university’s application was not successful.

“Since that time we have worked closely with Novartis and our partners, especially Horsham District Council which has been particularly supportive of our proposal, to seek alternative ways of delivering our plans for the Novartis site in the absence of the government grant.

“The government grant was the minimum amount need to complement the university’s much more significant investment and as we have not been able to find an alternative and viable business plan for the development, the university has, very regretfully, had to withdraw from further negotiations for the purchase of the site.

“The university remains committed to working with partners in the Gatwick Diamond area and we have recently established a presence in Manor Royal to facilitate even closer relationships and cooperation.”