Sussex University to spend £220m improving campus

Posted On 29 Jun 2013 at 4:20 pm

Sussex University plans to spend £220 million on a five-year programme of work intended to improve its Falmer campus.

The investment programme includes plans to enhance the science estate, extend the library, create new teaching space and invest in sport.

It will involve getting rid of the large surface car parks and building stacked car parks on the edge of the campus.

The freed up land will be used for new building and green space.

German Doner Kebab

The work is expected to cost £185 million while a further £35 million has been budgeted between now and 2018 for the refurbishment and maintenance of existing buildings.

The university is also planning to build more student flats and bedsits funded by private investors. It said that this would “ensure that our capital investment can be focused on our teaching, research and social needs”.

Michael Farthing

Michael Farthing

The major works are part of the university’s 2013-18 strategic plan which is being finalised at the moment and looks likely to be adopted in the autumn.

Michael Farthing, the university’s vice-chancellor, said: “To support the creation of the new plan, over the last year I have met with academics in all schools and with professional services staff, and I have had very helpful discussions with groups of students from across the university.

“Those discussions themselves also built on ideas emerging from the cross-campus feedback in 2011-12 on the future development of the university, and from within all the committees across the university.”

Professor Farthing said that most of the aims of the current strategic plan, which was intended to run from 2009-15, had already been achieved.

And he praised the hard work of everyone at the university for helping to make the university successful.

He said: “What has enabled this success has been growth. We have grown over the last three years by around 1,000 students a year as what we offer to students proves increasingly attractive.

“This student growth has allowed us to expand and develop the academy and the university and is key to the successful future development of Sussex.

“There are perhaps three main reasons for seeking to continue to grow

  • to support the development of future research because, in the current funding approach, size really does matter for successful research activity
  • to offer more opportunity to more students to take advantage of the distinct experience we provide and
  • to create financial resilience, enabling Sussex better to cope with a challenging funding environment

“In the new plan, we will be setting out the investments we will be making.

“They will build on the kind of investments we are already making – in staff, students, the campus estate, services and technology.”

He added that the university’s ambitious plans had to be followed up with an equally strong approach to implementation.


  1. Patrick Smash Reply

    Improving the behaviour of their immature, selfish brat students would be a start

  2. Valerie Paynter Reply

    Growth of a 1000 students a year comes at a cost to Brighton and Hove itself, sadly. There is an argument for suggesting that the University of Sussex is ‘overtrading’ and if these massive car parking areas (especially on the north-eastern flank) are to be redeveloped, then putting student residential accommodation there should be a priority – and not just for first year students.

    And yes, Patrick Smash, standards need to be imposed on behaviour. Especially within the formerly quiet library where work is supposed to take place – not socialising loudly.

  3. Patrick Smash Reply

    Valerie, myself and my neighbours had to call the Police five times last night as loud music from a student house could be heard three streets away.

    If the universities are going to enrol immature brats onto their course who are clearly too immature to be away from home and ‘mummy and daddy’, then the universities must be held legally accountable for this anti-social behaviour.

    Also at fault is the council for granting a ridiculous number of HMO licences, and also student letting agencies who abdicate any responsibility for their student tennants anti-social behaviour

  4. Valerie Paynter Reply

    Patrick, you may not know that BHCC has introduced measures (belatedly) to curtail the number of student HMO’s that can be given a licence in specified areas in future. Not helpful if you are already unlucky,I know.

    You hopefully complain to your councillors (in writing)every time, copy it to party leaders and the BHCC CEO Penny Thompson and your MP along with whoever is responsible and taking the fees at the universities who are doing nothing to socialise these (often foreign) kids-off-the-leash and unaccountable off-campus. And phoning Environmental Health, every time. If only to create a knowledge base that is better known and understood.

  5. Patrick Smash Reply

    Thanks for the helpful info, Valerie!

    I always find the foreign students are fine; courteous, respectful and friendly.

    Unfortunately it is our home-grown, childish, immature, rude obnoxious brats that are the students who cause most of the anti-social behaviour!

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