University of Brighton plans to close Eastbourne campus and expand its Falmer site

The University of Brighton has unveiled restructuring plans which could see an expansion of its Falmer site and the closure of its Eastbourne campus.

The University of Brighton's Falmer campus
The University of Brighton's Falmer campus

The University of Brighton has unveiled restructuring plans which could see an expansion of its Falmer site and the closure of its Eastbourne campus.

This morning (Wednesday October 27) the university began a six-week public consultation which would result in changes for the institution’s 19,000 students and 2,600 staff.

At it’s Falmer campus, the university has proposed to ‘repurpose’ the site currently occupied by the Virgin Active gym to house its School of Sport and Health Sciences, currently based in Falmer and Eastbourne.

The plan is expand the Falmer campus and close the university’s Eastbourne campus “by the start of the 2024-25 academic year”.

Professor Debra Humphris, University of Brighton Vice-Chancellor, said: “I firmly believe that these proposals will benefit our students and staff and shape an exciting, vibrant future for the University.

“They have only been made after very careful consideration of the facts about our estate, our finances, and our future.

“This includes the costs of continuing to maintain some of our oldest and least accessible buildings, and what that would mean for our ability to further develop health, sport, humanities and social science subjects.

“Our Eastbourne campus has been an important part of the University’s history and heritage, but it has become increasingly clear that to successfully deliver our academic vision for sport and health sciences and meet our commitments on accessibility and sustainability, our University’s future is in Brighton.

“The opportunity presented by the reacquisition of the Virgin Active site at the heart of our Falmer campus means we can invest in creating an outstanding home for our School of Sport and Health Sciences alongside Brighton and Sussex Medical School and our School of Education. In a post-pandemic world, the opportunities for collaboration and partnership in these areas has never been more important.”

The proposals would also see the University’s School of Humanities and Social Science move from their Falmer and City campuses to Moulsecoomb by the start of the 2023-24 academic year, a move which the university said “would be underpinned by significant investment and a redesign of facilities at Mithras House to support the school’s teaching and research ambitions”.

A university spokesman said a final decision on the proposals is due to be taken by the University’s Board of Governors in early 2022.

Professor Humphris said: “Over the next six weeks we want to hear the views of students, staff, university partners, neighbours and other stakeholders to inform our views ahead of any final decisions.”

The consultation runs from today to Friday, 10 December 2021.

Find out more at brighton.ac.uk/brighton2025.