East Sussex College reveals proposals for Lewes and Newhaven campuses as part of multi-million pound vision

East Sussex College has proposed to move its campus in Newhaven to a new site and create a new three-storey building in Lewes as part of its three-year strategic plan.

Friday, 21st May 2021, 10:48 am
The proposed new frontage at the campus in Lewes

The college, which has campuses in Lewes Newhaven, Eastbourne and Hastings, has revealed its multi-million-pound vision for the future in a virtual consultation, which launched today.

It has received £1.82m from the government this year to make the developments possible – with further stages due for completion by 2023/24, if the college is successful with a £20m investment package submitted to government.

Rebecca Conroy, Principal and CEO, said: “We are extremely proud and really excited to unveil the new strategic plan for our college group.

The existing campus in Lewes

“This is a big moment for us; the plan has been developed with campus specialisms and the student experience at its core.

“We want our learning and skills offer to be what the communities of East Sussex need and deserve.

“The reallocation of space, and a close look at the course offer at each campus, will allow us to strengthen our position as a leading provider of education in East Sussex.”

The college has announced it is in discussions about moving its campus in Newhaven to an alternative site at old University Technical College (UTC) site.

Talks are currently underway with Lewes District Council, Sussex Community Development Association (SCDA) and other stake holders over the proposal.

The Newhaven campus is currently devoted to adult learners, the majority of which are studying preparation for work, English and Maths.

There is currently no 16-18 provision, no day-release provision, or HE provision delivered from the site.

Under the new proposals, Newhaven would remain a specialist campus for adult learners, with new programmes linked to the planned regeneration in the town.

Engineering will be developed as an area of study, working closely with local schools and employers.

Much regeneration work is planned in the town, thanks to funding from sources such as the Future High Streets fund.

The college is proposing to run construction programmes directly linked to the building programme expected as part of this regeneration work.

It would also run engineering and logistics programmes for adults, linking with local employers and opening up opportunities for apprenticeships and 14-19 delivery.

There would be increased adult skills training provision at the site, focused on basic level skills, pre-employment with some professional qualifications, such as accounting.

Meanwhile in Lewes, the college has ‘ambitious and innovative plans’ to redevelop its campus – which is located near the railway station – so that it becomes a community hub, with opportunities for all ages to study and develop new skills.

It is investing £700k this year to enable the closure of the Southover Building, which is situated on the other side of the road from the main campus.

Part of the main campus site will be repurposed to accommodate the courses and learning resource centre, and this will be ready to welcome students in September 21.

The college has submitted a £9m funding application to the Government for the second stage of development which – if successful – will be completed by September 2024.

This involves building a new three-storey building at the heart of the campus, as well as refurbishing current buildings, many of which date from the 1930s and 1950s.

New social spaces will be created, giving students additional areas to spend time in between lessons.

A spokesman said: “All of this will be subject to further consultation in the autumn but it represents and exciting new era in the college’s history and we look forward to welcoming students and our wider Lewes community to be part of it.”

Members of the public can find out more about the plans by visiting the Virtual Town Hall consultation, which features interactive displays and videos.

The college is inviting feedback from students, parents/carers, employers, strategic partners, and local community leaders.

Its plans for the future also involve creating a new building in Eastbourne, and the redevelopment of the college’s existing sites in Hastings.

View the plans and have your say at www.escg.ac.uk