Ambitious plans announced for former UTC Building

Lewes District Council has agreed to bring forward plans to create jobs and boost Newhaven's economic growth by redeveloping the former UTC building

While being empty for more than a year since it closed as a technical college, the Grade II listed building has had a council commitment to put forward £500,000 in match-funding to complement the £1.3 million put forward by the government via the Getting Building fund.

With a floorspace of around 55,000 sq ft, the council's plans have put forward commercial space that will be focused primarily on maritime and sustainable technologies and an education offering. There is also potential to accommodate a central reception for a range of public services and education.

Councillor James MacCleary, Leader of Lewes District Council and Cabinet member for Regeneration and Prosperity, said:

The redevelopment will be fantastic for the future of Newhaven, of which I am a proud resident, breathing new life into this landmark building which is sadly out of use at the moment.

By providing for a number of different uses, we are building in flexibility and ensuring this is a sustainable venture so that each hub can take on additional space or operate with a smaller footprint, as needs arise.

The council will now seek to secure a new tailored lease arrangement for the building to reflect the proposed use for it.

Major work to renovate the building and create internal spaces for the hubs is expected to start in January 2021 and will take about a year to complete.

The former UTC building occupies part of Railway Quay, within the Newhaven Enterprise Zone.

Councillor MacCleary added: "This is going to be a huge asset for Newhaven and links in perfectly with our plans already underway for the Railway Quay Hub, offering an information hub for visitors, a refreshment outlet and cycle hire.

"Everyone in Newhaven has had enough of grand plans that come to nothing. This investment along with Railway Quay shows how the council is delivering on getting our town the investment it has long deserved. We will continue working to attract more support and adding for the benefit of people who live and work here."

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