Horsham headteachers have welcomed University of Brighton’s plans for a centre for higher education on the former Novartis site.
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 ten years, and provide around 3,500 places for students.
Julian Crampton, vice-chancellor of the University of Brighton, said they hoped to work closely with local schools and colleges to ensure their plans develop in a way that benefits the wider community.
Sally Bromley, principal at the College of Richard Collyer, said: “This is good news for Horsham and for Collyer’s.
“The Science and Maths departments at Collyer’s are outstanding and as STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths] subjects become increasingly popular both locally and nationally, the loss of our neighbour Novartis was keenly felt.
“We had an excellent relationship with the company which offered work experience for our students and research opportunities for both students and staff. We look forward to hearing Brighton University’s plans and forging a close working relationship.”
Leon Nettley, headteacher at Millais School, added: “The proposals from the University of Brighton represent an exciting opportunity for Horsham, especially as they have already shown a commitment to the area through their pro-active engagement as a strategic partner in The Millais Teaching School Alliance.”
Jules White, headteacher at Tanbridge House School, said: ‘The plans put forward by university of Brighton are interesting and I look forward to learning more about them as and when they are shared with locality schools.”