Councillors have approved planning for a new multimillion-pound Engineering and Technology Park on the University of Chichester’s Bognor Regis Campus, providing opportunities for thousands of young people.
Roadside view of the new Engineering and Digital Technology Park
Vice-Chancellor, Professor Clive Behagg said: “The University’s Engineering and Digital Technology Park will produce the engineering and scientific skills that the UK economy needs, particularly at a time when Brexit gives an even greater emphasis on the need for our economy to be internationally and industrially competitive.”
Professor Behagg added: “This is not simply a building. It is also a social and economic development-project that will link schools, colleges, local authorities and businesses to increase the aspirations and opportunities for our young people.”
The Park will include a Department of Engineering and Applied Design to offer a practical project-orientated engineering workshop, fabrication laboratory, specialist 3D printers, and hands-on educations spaces for the schools and colleges. As well as a Department of Creative and Digital Technologies with specialist facilities including a 300 square-metre television production studio, with auxiliary 100 square-metre special effects room, and a 400 square-metre media operation centre.
Jonathan Sharrock, Chief Executive, Coast to Capital LEP said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for the region. Not only has it been estimated that it will boost the local town economy by an extra £5m, but more importantly it means that employers in the area will soon be able to gain access to young people with the right skills in the local labour market.”
The University aims to start construction in the summer for the build to be completed by early 2018.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Seamus Higson commented: “The Park will provide cutting-edge skills to a new generation of young people. We have received support from Rolls Royce Motor Cars, URT Group, Solartron, Inpress Plastics, Sony and Toshiba Medical and many other small and medium-sized enterprises in Bognor Regis and the surrounding areas, all of whom have a STEM skills shortage.”
The additional students will be accommodated in new halls of residence located at the Bognor Regis campus, which also recently gained planning permission.