Council’s leadership praised in helping bring Haywards Heath college site back into use

Mid Sussex District Council’s leadership in working to bring the former Central Sussex College site in Haywards Heath back into educational use has been praised in Parliament.

The former Central Sussex College campus, in Haywards Heath
The former Central Sussex College campus, in Haywards Heath

The campus in Harlands Road closed in 2017 after the college became overwhelmed with debts.

After much outcry the site was purchased by the Government and it was agreed ministers would look at bringing the site back into use.

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More than 20 organisations applied to take over and West Sussex County Council announced in December the Chichester College Group had been selected as its preferred choice to run the site.

Earlier this week Mid Sussex MP Sir Nicholas Soames raised the issue in the House of Commons with the minister for apprenticeships and skills Anne Milton.

He said: “May I thank my right honourable friend for the incredible work and leadership that she has offered, together with officials in her department, in the reopening of the sixth-form college in Haywards Heath in my constituency?

“Will she pay tribute to the work of Mid Sussex District Council, whose leadership in this matter has been absolutely exemplary?”

Ms Milton responded: “Mid Sussex District Council has shown remarkable leadership, and it just goes to show how much can be achieved when the local authority, colleges and schools in the area—all those with a vested interest, including the county council—get together to find a solution for a problem. I wish them every success.”

Back in December Shelagh Legrave, CCG chief executive, said: “Chichester College Group is very pleased to have been selected as the preferred provider to re-open the college in Haywards Heath.

“We are excited about the opportunity to deliver post-16 education for the learners of Mid Sussex and are committed to providing the highest quality skills to meet the needs of local people and businesses.

“We look forward to working closely with West Sussex County Council, Mid Sussex District Council and key stakeholders to finalise our proposition and timeline to enable an opening in September 2020.”