A £16 million Centre for Creative and Digital Industries is to be built in the heart of Brighton to train the workforce of the future.
The plans – the brainchild of Brighton Metropolitan College (the Met) – have attracted a £5 million grant from the government’s Local Growth Fund.
The grant was awarded by the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) towards the scheme which also involves a makeover for the tower block on the Pelham Street campus.
Part of the site – land on the eastern side of Pelham Street – will be sold as the Met, formerly known as City College and previously Brighton Tech, raises money towards the overall project costs.
The Met said: “The funding will allow the Met to build a new Centre for Creative and Digital Industries that will train the next generation of creative and digital workers.
“The £5 million LEP grant will be matched by a significant college investment generated primarily through the disposal of land on the east of Pelham Street creating a £16 million redevelopment fund.
“The centre will be housed in a new 2,700 square metre state-of-the-art facility integrated into Pelham Tower which will be substantially refurbished.
“The new and refurbished buildings will create cutting-edge teaching facilities located in the heart of the Brighton’s creative, digital and IT cluster.
“The digital sector is booming in the city and already contributes £1 billion per annum to the Greater Brighton economy.
“Brighton has the highest density of digital companies in the country and the highest number of start-up companies outside of London.
“This project will aim to address longstanding and well-documented skills shortages in the area by giving local employers access to a pipeline of talent and graduates with the skills they need to help their businesses thrive in the future.”
Met chief executive Nick Juba said: “Brighton Met is on the up. Earlier this year we opened a brand new £10 million Construction and Trades Centre in East Brighton.
“And this new investment in our city centre campus is further evidence of our commitment to providing outstanding technical and professional education for everyone in our community.
“We’re serious about ensuring our students get the skills and experience they need for successful careers in the creative and digital sectors and our new state-of-art facilities will provide a perfect environment to make this happen.”
Coast to Capital chief executive Jonathan Sharrock said: “The Pelham Campus redevelopment is a fantastic project which we are thrilled to be a part of.
“Addressing the skills gap in the region is vital to its continued success and improvements to the college will give students in Brighton and the surrounding areas the technical training they need to join the advanced digital workforce.
“We look forward to working with Brighton Met as the project progresses.”
Work is under way on the design and layouts of the new and refurbished buildings. A full public consultation on the plans will take place before a planning application is submitted later in the year.