It was revealed today (Monday, January 26) that there are negotiations ongoing between Novartis and the University of Brighton over the sale of the former site in Horsham of the pharmaceutical giant whose operations ceased in Horsham last year.
The University of Brighton could build another campus on the site at Wimblehurst Road if the deal is agreed. The university plans to open an innovative, high-quality centre for higher education in Horsham that will give a major boost to jobs, skills and business opportunities in the Gatwick Diamond area. The university estimates the centre could create an estimated 2,250 new jobs and bring £1.7bn of investment to the region over 10 years, and provide around 3,500 places for students.
A spokesperson for Novartis said: “We are delighted to be able to confirm that we are entering into exclusive negotiations with the University of Brighton for the sale of our former Horsham site. This is still subject to the usual negotiations when trying to agree a contract, but the University’s proposal offers an exciting opportunity which could bring long term benefits to the town and local residents, as well as realise our ambition in leaving a scientific legacy at the site.
“We will now work closely with the University and Horsham District Council to try to make this happen.”
The vice-chancellor of the University of Brighton, Professor Julian Crampton, said: “We are pleased to confirm that we have entered into negotiations to acquire the former Novartis site in Horsham. These discussions are at an early stage, but if the sale goes ahead, we plan to open an innovative, high-quality centre for higher education that will give a major boost to jobs, skills and business opportunities in the Gatwick Diamond area.
“We will be working closely with Horsham District Council and the Coast to Capital Local Economic Partnership, as well as local business, schools and colleges, to ensure our plans develop in a way that benefits the local economy and the local community.”
Councillor Ray Dawe, leader of Horsham District Council, said: “We are delighted that the University of Brighton has chosen the district of Horsham to build a centre for higher education. A university on the former Novartis site would be a fitting legacy for one of the largest healthcare groups in the world, and would bring a new dimension to what our district has to offer.
“A university would hold a prominent role in the community and would add significantly to the economic growth, job creation and skills development across the district and would greatly support the 75,000 businesses and enterprises that already exist within the Gatwick Diamond. We already know that we lose many students to higher education colleges elsewhere so the prospect of retaining our young people in the borough is very exciting.”