UTC@harbourside, as it is called, will be based in Newhaven Harbour and will offer 14 to 18 year olds academic and technical education focused on science, engineering, technology and mathematics, with a focus on the specialist skills in demand by the growing marine engineering and environmental technology sectors in the region.
Professor Andrew Lloyd, Dean of the university’s Faculty of Science and Engineering and the university’s lead on the UTC project, said:
"We are delighted that planning approval has been granted by Lewes District Council Planning Committee for this potentially transformative project. The new college will provide an alternative educational offering for those disengaged with traditional forms of learning and provide an inspirational learning environment for those looking for a more specialised science and engineering offering. We will also ensure that we meet the demands for a more highly skilled technical workforce to support the growth in marine and environmental engineering industry in the region.
"Furthermore this project will transform the East Quay landscape in Newhaven and will hopefully provide a catalyst, alongside other local developments, for the regeneration of Newhaven into a thriving port town. As more people recognise the importance of science and engineering in overcoming major global challenges associated with poverty, healthcare, food security, energy supply, global warming and antibiotic resistance more young people are looking at how they too can ‘change the world’ for global benefit. The education we will offer at UTC will provide a springboard for these young people whether they chose to pursue further education or employment on leaving the college."
UTC@harbourside is sponsored by the University of Brighton, Lewes District Council, educational charity the Aldridge Foundation and Veolia Environmental Services Plc.
Honor Wilson-Fletcher, Chief Executive of the Aldridge Foundation said, "Planning approval and the recommendation for listed buildings consent put us on track for converting this important site in the heart of Newhaven into a wonderful college that gives students the skills they need for tomorrow’s jobs market."
Speaking on behalf of Lewes District Council, Cllr Tom Jones, Lead Member for Planning said of the planning applications committee's decision, "This is a tremendous step forward for the regeneration of Railway Quay and Newhaven, which the Council has been working hard to achieve."
UTC@harbourside students will be able to enter in years 10 and 12 and will study for GCSEs and A Levels alongside technical qualifications such as the Engineering BTEC diploma. Studies will be based around real-life projects designed in partnership with local employers and using state-of-the-art facilities and equipment. The vision is designed to give students a head start in the jobs market or in applying to university or for apprenticeships.
Applications are now open for students interested in entering in years 10 and 12 in September 2015.