A public consultation about creating a University Technical College in Newhaven began this week and will run until Christmas Eve.
It will give people the chance to have their say on the ambitious plan, which could help to rejuvenate Newhaven and create more educational opportunities for young people around Sussex.
The proposed University Technical College will give students aged 14 – 19 the chance to study subjects such as maths, English and sciences, while gaining skills in engineering in a curriculum shaped by major employers.
The project is being led by the Aldridge Foundation, which already runs academies in Portslade and Falmer.
Project director Sue Simmonds, from the Aldridge Foundation, said: “Whether you are a prospective student, a parent, a teacher, a community worker, manage or own a business, or are a local resident, we hope that as many people as possible from within the University Technical College’s catchment area will give us their views.
“The University Technical College website contains detailed information about the proposals, including the admissions policy, education vision and Funding Agreement model.
“You can complete the questionnaire online or download a paper copy.
“Anyone who wishes to take part but does not have access to the internet should call 0207 297 0340 to request paper copies of the proposals and questionnaire.”
The education charity is appealing for parents, students, schools and colleges, employers, representative bodies and the community to comment on its plans for the college.
It plans to open the college in September 2015 and is being sponsored by the University of Brighton, Lewes District Council, educational charity the Aldridge Foundation and Veolia Environmental Services plc.
The college will focus on the skills in demand by the growing marine engineering and environmental technology sectors in the region.
Students will be able to enter in years 10 and 12 and will study for GCSEs and A Levels alongside technical qualifications such as BTECs, NVQs and the Technical Baccalaureate.
Studies will be based around real-life projects set by local employers and using high-tech specialist kit.
The vision is to give students a head start in the jobs market or in applying to university or for apprenticeships.
The UTC will be based in a new state-of-the-art facility two minutes from Newhaven Town railway station.
The consultation is intended to gauge the level of demand and to gain insights from potential students and parents.
The college could draw students from as far afield as Worthing, Eastbourne, Bexhill and Haywards Heath. It would be built on Railway Quay in Newhaven and incorporate the listed marine workshop, bringing an important historical building in the town back into use and rejuvenating an underused area of the town, as well as improving the view over the river.
You can take part in the consultation at www.newhavenutc.co.uk