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£8 million to kick-start Bognor Regis campus transformation

Over £8 million awarded to University of Chichester to kick-start transformation of its Bognor Regis Campus.

The University of Chichester has been awarded more than £8 million of funding to kick-start the major transformation of its Bognor Regis Campus in West Sussex as the first stage of a £30 million re-development programme over the next 10 years.

SEEDA, the South East England Development Agency has invested £2 million and a further £6 million has been granted by HEFCE, the Higher Education Funding Council for England. West Sussex County Council through the West Sussex Economic, Skills and Enterprise Board has contributed £50,000 and the University itself is committing over £5 million over the next three years. The £30 million investment programme will include a creative and cultural industries facility and new student residences.

The funds will go towards a major internal refurbishment of The Dome, which dates back to the 1780s and is one of the most historic buildings in Bognor Regis. The building will become an iconic centre for business which will house the University’s SEMAL division (School of Enterprise, Management and Leadership. The refurbished Dome will be home to a café, wi-fi facilities, informal and formal meeting spaces and a lecture theatre. The building will be accessible to the community and a major support to business. In addition, eight enterprise incubator units will be created on the campus to develop new high-value businesses. The funding will also contribute to a new state-of-the-art Learning Resource Centre and Student Support Facility.

The new business school will give students the skills and support to help economic recovery, either by creating new businesses or gaining the high level qualifications a successful economy needs. It will also help to regenerate the coastal West Sussex economy not just by creating jobs at the university but by attracting more students whose extra spending power will stimulate local businesses and encourage them to expand.

Dr Robin Baker, University of Chichester Vice-Chancellor “We are very grateful for this very generous support from SEEDA which, together with a hugely significant £6 million grant from HEFCE and help from many other local partners, means that the University will be able to achieve its ambition to create a ‘Regeneration Campus’ at Bognor Regis. The campus will become a catalyst for education-led economic and social regeneration on the West Sussex coast. It will also make a major contribution to the social and cultural environment of the town itself.”

Paul Lovejoy SEEDA’s Executive Director for Strategy and Communications “We are delighted to be jointly investing with HEFCE and the University of Chichester in the Bognor Regis campus. It will make an important contribution to improving the economic performance of the West Sussex coast. It will strengthen links with local businesses helping them to weather the recession and emerge ready to take advantage of the upturn.”

The project has attracted the support of local businesses such as Butlins and Rolls Royce.

Tom Purves, Chief Executive of Rolls Royce “The University plans for expansion and its deepening offer to business has my full support. I have no doubt the ‘Regeneration Campus’ will be an engine for wealth creation on the West Sussex coast and will contribute to the knowledge base on which Rolls Royce depends.

Deborah Urquhart, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member with responsibility for the Environment and Economy “This will help the regeneration of Bognor Regis and make an important economic contribution to the skills base that will help our business sector and ultimately create more jobs.”

Councillor Gill Brown, Leader of Arun District Council “This is tremendous news and Bognor Regis residents and businesses alike should be cheering this success and the opportunities it will offer to them. The University’s Vice-Chancellor and his team deserve the highest credit for this achievement. Arun will continue to work alongside the University to support, assist and deliver the benefits this funding will achieve. This is yet another big step in creating an even brighter future for Bognor Regis.”

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