Brighton University to close Eastbourne campus

Posted On 27 Oct 2021 at 12:46 pm

Brighton University is to close its Eastbourne campus after more than 40 years – and just a few years after pulling out of Hastings.

The university has three sites in Eastbourne – Darley Road, Hillbrow and Leaf Hospital. The Hillbrow site includes the sports centre, with about 1,500 students.

The university intends to have consolidated all its courses in Brighton by the start of the 2024-25 academic year.

It wants to create a new School of Sport and Health Sciences and has published a proposal which is the subject of consultation until December.

Currently, the university has its School of Sport and Service Management and the School of Health Sciences in Eastbourne.

Students there have access to laboratories, clinics, studios, a library, restaurant and sports centre, including an indoor sports hall, a swimming pool and outdoor pitches.

The proposal comes as the university’s £300 million makeover in Mouslecoomb takes shape, with new academic and office buildings and hundreds of student flats in towering halls of residence.

The university said: “For our students, the consolidation at Falmer will allow us to create a fresh campus experience, which will be welcoming, diverse and inclusive.

“It will provide greater opportunities for our students to mix with learners from other courses.

“The on-site facilities, including halls of residence, food outlets, library, Students’ Union café and shop will be developed to support a new intake of students.

“(They) will also benefit from enhanced and expanded facilities provided by Sport Brighton and buying back of the long lease on the land and buildings previously occupied by Virgin Active.

“Both staff and students will benefit from working and learning on a campus with improved accessibility for people with disabilities and differing neuro-diversity needs.

“Consolidating our provision at Falmer will also enable us to reduce travel between sites, positively impacting on our carbon footprint.”

Brighton University is transforming its Moulsecoomb campus in Lewes Road as part of a £300 million modernisation project

The university also said: “Co-location on a single campus at Falmer, alongside Brighton and Sussex Medical School and the university’s School of Education, and in close proximity to Brighton and Hove Albion FC and Sussex County Cricket Club will strengthen our interprofessional and innovative pedagogies and research.

“It will also facilitate the development of further opportunities for placements and collaboration.

“The new facilities will provide opportunities to enhance our curricula and develop new programmes of study including further diversification into apprenticeships, higher technical qualifications, subjects that span sport and health, micro-credentialled courses, new health and sport courses.”

The university’s vice-chancellor Debra Humphris said: “The opportunity presented by the reacquisition of the Virgin Active site at the heart of our Falmer campus means we can invest in creating an outstanding home for our School of Sport and Health Sciences alongside Brighton and Sussex Medical School and our School of Education.

“In a post-pandemic world, the opportunities for collaboration and partnership in these areas has never been more important.”

Debra Humphris

The university has had a presence in Eastbourne since 1979 when Brighton Polytechnic merged with the East Sussex College of Higher Education.

The college itself included the Chelsea College of Physical Education which moved to Eastbourne from London 30 years earlier.

The university is carrying out a six-week consultation, closing on Friday 10 December.

For more information and to comment, visit brighton.ac.uk/brighton2025.

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