Work underway on new £200,000 university centre


Plans have been unveiled for the new £200,000 university centre which is due to open at Sussex Coast College later this year.

Plans for the fifth floor at the Station Plaza campus show the details of additional teaching spaces and recreational and leisure areas for current and new Higher Education students.

The 1,380 metre square space will be transformed into lecture rooms, study areas, two art studios, common rooms, and a Student Union.

These facilities will be added to the existing Learning Resource Centre, Subway, and college canteen, which the college says will provide students “with an exceptional university experience”.

So far, contactors have installed the electrics and flooring, and the college has ordered furniture, teaching equipment, and computers.

The second phase of construction is due to start in mid-May.

Sussex Coast College Hastings has invested £100,000 into the development, and has recently secured a further £100,000 grant from the Higher Education Funding Council’s Catalyst Fund.

The bid for the Catalyst Fund was supported by the University of Brighton, which is to close its Hastings campus in 2019. It has also provided additional loan funding to ensure building work can be completed by September.

Dan Shelley, vice 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. The flooring for the new University Centre is already down and the space is starting to take shape for September enrolment.

“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.”

The University of Brighton has vowed to continue to support Sussex Coast College’s Higher Education programme.

Professor Chris Pole, deputy vice-chancellor of the University of Brighton, said: “We are delighted to support the new University Centre which will provide continuing access to Higher Education in Hastings on a sustainable basis.

“The funding we have helped to secure will ensure that the University Centre is up and running for the start of the new academic year in September.

“We will continue to support our colleagues at Sussex Coast College with

the validation of their growing programme of Higher Education course provision.”

For the first time the college will be offering six full BA (Hons) degrees, three BSc top-up degrees and a range of HNC and HND level courses in Business, Engineering, Computing, Health and Social Care, Beauty, and Teacher Training.

The University of Brighton announced the closure of its Hastings campus in December last year.

The decision came after a year-long review of the current campus which was deemed unsustainable by the university’s management, much to the dismay of many in the town.

The campus will shut in the summer of 2019 giving students time to complete their courses.