Secretary of State for Business Greg Clark paid the district a visit on Thursday and ‘welcomed’ plans for a science park in Burgess Hill.
He also visited the Harlands Road campus in Haywards Heath to discuss bringing the site back into educational use.
MP Sir Nicholas Soames said: “I was delighted to welcome the Secretary of State to my constituency. The district council is spearheading very ambitious and well thought through plans for Burgess Hill.
“The science park could have enormous potential for the whole region and is perfectly located. I was very encouraged by the support for this from business and academia.”
The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy met with representatives of the district council, the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), professor Adam Tickell of Sussex University and local businesses.
Garry Wall, leader of the district council, said: “Sir Nicholas has been working very hard within Government to re-open the Harlands Road site.
“Locally the district council has been working with West Sussex County Council and the LEP to get support for a sixth form college on the site.
“Mid Sussex is going to grow hugely over the next ten years and must have its own college.
“We see great potential for a college with a focus on maths, science and technology to compliment the businesses already in Mid Sussex and the potential science park.
“There is a great opportunity here if we can just cut through the red tape.”