University of Brighton could open campus on former Horsham Novartis site

Novartis aerial shot ENGSUS00120131115141753
Novartis aerial shot ENGSUS00120131115141753

A University of Brighton higher education campus could be created at Novartis’ former Horsham site as part of exciting new plans announced today.

The pharmaceutical giant is currently negotiating the sale of the site off Wimblehurst Road 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.”

A spokesperson for Novartis added: “We are delighted to be able to confirm that we are entering into exclusive negotiations with the University of Brighton for the sale of our former Horsham site at Wimblehurst Road.

“This is still subject to the usual negotiations when trying to agree a contract, but the university’s proposal offers an exciting opportunity which could bring long term benefits to the town and local residents, as well as realise our ambition in leaving a scientific legacy at the site. We will now work closely with the university and Horsham District Council to try to make this happen.”

The announcement has been welcomed by business leaders, Horsham headteachers, Horsham MP Francis Maude, and residents.

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.

For full analysis see this Thursday’s County Times.

Related stories:

Nearly 400 jobs at risk as Novartis consults on closure of Horsham site

Novartis to close Horsham site later this year

Plans for 160 homes on former Horsham Novartis site approved