Opening of university building in Hastings faces delay

Margaret Wallis
Margaret Wallis

THE UNIVERSITY of Brighton in Hastings has announced the opening of a new multi-million pound university in the town centre will be delayed by several months.

The £7.5 million development in Priory Street was due to be completed by Christmas but the university has been forced into a rethink after a major setback during the summer.

In August part of the new building toppled over as two floors of cladding collapsed, sending bricks and scaffolding into the street.

Fortunately, no one was injured but the university has conceded the opening of its second town centre building will have to wait.

A spokesman said the project was scheduled to be handed over to the university by the builder McLaren Construction in time to allow the fitting out to be completed prior to occupation at Christmas but it is now unlikely to be finished until the spring.

Margaret Wallis, director of the Hastings campus, said: “We are disappointed by this setback but this will not disrupt existing courses and our students and staff will not be inconvenienced.

“We are keen to begin occupying our new Priory Square building which will complement our existing centre in nearby Havelock Road and provide us with state-of-the-art teaching space and facilities.”

The new building will be home to new nursing courses and a range of new science degree courses.

It will house an additional lecture theatre and will provide a new home for Student Services and the Students’ Union.

Ms Wallis said: “The building will be a major step forward in academic provision in the areas and, along with our sponsorship of two academies in Hastings and St Leonards, I believe demonstrates the university’s commitment to the regeneration of the town.

“Hastings and the surrounding area have an exciting future and we want to establish solid educational provision, buildings and facilities fit for the 21st century, and career-focused courses to ensure people are given the best skills and opportunities.

“We are eager to move into our Priory Square building which is an integral part of our vision for the future.”