The brand new University Centre Hastings, offering a range of higher education and degree courses, is now open.
Building work to develop the fifth floor and engineering wing at Sussex Coast College’s Station Plaza and Ore Valley campuses has now been completed, and the centre welcomed the new cohort of students earlier this week.
The work has taken seven months to complete and has increased the teaching space across the two campuses by over 1,500 square metres.
Twelve classrooms, two lecture rooms, individual study spaces and two common rooms have been created across the sites for higher education students.
The Station Plaza campus, which will host six new BA (Hons) courses in art and design, will feature a photography and film studio and dedicated personal project room, as well as open plan studio space for art students to work in.
The Ore Valley campus will be home to brand new BSc top-up courses in engineering and computing and will boast lecture rooms, a common room and a dedicated electrical and electronics lab featuring the latest software and technology.
More than 700 square feet of new internal walls have been installed, over 1,200 square metres of carpet and ecotiles laid, and over 3,000 square metres of ceilings and walls have been painted.
More than 400 pieces of furniture, 15 white boards and 10 interactive Promethean boards have been installed to complete the centre.
Sussex Coast College Hastings has invested £250,000 into the development of the University Centre Hastings, along with £150,000 from the University of Brighton and a further £100,000 grant from the Higher Education Funding Council’s Catalyst Fund.
Clive Cooke, principal at Sussex Coast College Hastings, said: “This is a fantastic time for the college and the town as we look to grow our Higher Education offering. It has been a fantastic achievement for everyone involved to make the University Centre Hastings a reality in such a short time frame, and I’m delighted that the centre is now open.
“The university centre is looking fantastic and I’m very excited to welcome the new cohort of students to study with us this year.
“To coincide with the opening of the University Centre Hastings, we have also launched a brand new, dedicated, website with details of all of our courses.
“We’re working with the Hastings & Rother Taskforce to ensure the university centre offers courses that meet the local economic need. Our Higher Education offer will have a strong vocational element ensuring that students benefit from strong, local work experience opportunities that develop their employability and support the businesses they work with too.
“Our courses are available to study full and part-time, with much of the provision also available to study as a Higher Apprenticeship.
“If anybody is interested please contact the college and we are more than happy to talk about available options.”
Professor Chris Pole, deputy vice-chancellor of the University of Brighton, added: “The new university centre is a great asset for Hastings that safeguards the future delivery of Higher Education in the town.
“We are delighted to have secured financial support to ensure its development and look forward to seeing the university centre continue to grow and expand its course provision.”