University of Brighton in talks to buy Horsham site

Novartis site in Horsham
Image caption Novartis closed its Horsham site last June

The University of Brighton is in talks to buy a former pharmaceutical site, in West Sussex, to set up a new campus.

Swiss drug company Novartis said it was entering into formal negotiations with the university over its research site in Horsham, which closed in June.

The university said the new campus would bring £1.7bn investment to the region over 10 years, create 2,250 jobs and provide places for 3,500 students.

It already has five campuses in Brighton, Eastbourne and Hastings.

'Exciting opportunity'

Novartis closed its Horsham site following a global review of research locations.

Last year it announced it was selling the northern section, mainly used as a car park, to developer Linden Homes and looking to sell the rest of the site for a science or business park.

A spokesman said: "The university's proposal offers an exciting opportunity which could bring long-term benefits to the town as well as realise our ambition in leaving a legacy at the site."

Vice-chancellor Julian Crampton said discussions were at an early stage but if the sale went ahead it planned to open a centre for higher education that would boost opportunities in the Gatwick Diamond business area.

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