East Sussex College Group Launches Ambitious Plan

Hosting a virtual town hall online, East Sussex College Group has revealed the vision for a multi-million-pound plan to change the future of East Sussex, helping businesses gain the latest skills and meet the needs of the local community.


With a unique vision for each campus across Hastings, Eastbourne, Lewes, and Newhaven, the East Sussex College Group is seeking the wider community engagement, including businesses, to survey its new strategy and what the group aspires to achieve over the next five years.

The consultation is launched to help form the basis of a new Strategic Plan for 2021-24, developing and growing, offering the opportunity for the wider community to inform its future direction.

Following its estates plan, the college has already received government funding of £1.82m to fulfil some of these developments, following a staged approach to completion by 2024, applying for a further £20m government investment package.

The East Sussex College Group wants to create exceptional, flexible spaces at the heart of East Sussex’s communities. The group providing opportunities for businesses to engage with the college as a physical and virtual learning environment, as well as tackling climate change and responsible investment.

Identifying clear identities and specialisms for each campus, the group want to reflect and regenerate the East Sussex economy post-COVID. Working with employers, universities and other partners, the group will develop industry-specific placements, delivering an enhanced range of apprentices as well as lifelong learning programmes.

You can visit its website to find out more and visit its virtual town hall!.

The plan so far:

Across all campuses:

–    Significant growth in adult skills training, including Lewes Campus, which has the smallest adult offer with significant growth potential, as well as provision focused on basic level skills, pre-employment with some professional qualifications e.g. Accounting.
–    Special Educational Need and Disability (SEND) provision to include more employment focused programmes.

Hastings –

–    Redevelopment of the Hastings sites including Station Plaze and Ore Valley, that while the buildings still have had over £60 of development, the flagship facilities will be revised and improved for the next three to five years to remain competitive.
–    Specialist T-Levels partnerships with a cluster of advanced manufacturing employers in the town and local area.
–    Employment focused programmes for students, working with employers to match skill needs, with a focus on developing curriculum specialisations including Green Construction, Energy and Transport, Engineering and Art & Design

–    Ore Valley
o    ESC’s Town Deal capital bid plans to transform Ore Valley into a centre of excellence in retrofitting, green energy generation and electric vehicle technology- Green Technology Training Centre

–    Station Plaza
o    As a part of the ESC’s Town Deal, Station Plaza campus ground floor will allow for re-configuration to provide conference facilities, serviced office space for business and community organisations and moving our commercial gym to the ground floor for easy access.

Eastbourne –

–    Building on the advanced engineering hub and great facilities for art and music, with industry standard mixing desks, the Eastbourne campus build upon existing areas of expertise, developing the following curriculum specialisations including Health Sciences, Sports and the Business and the Visitor economy.

–    Investment of £1.2m for first stage improvements, including redevelopment of Eastbourne Sports Park and relocation of A-Levels from former Park College site.

–    £8m bid has been submitted to Government to support stage two plans for:
o    relocating our Hair and Beauty salons to the main building at the front of the college, making the commercial venture easily accessible and visible to clients.
o    Hospitality and Catering relocation (subject to contract) to the Devonshire Park development, providing a training kitchen and restaurant.
o    Brand new, three-storey building, housing its art and design provision, with construction also benefitting from refurbished facilities in Eversely House, including moving the brickwork studio there.
o    A covered courtyard

Lewes –

–    Redeveloping the Lewes campus to become community hub, with opportunities for all ages to study with ESC and develop new skills.

–    Lewes campus will build upon existing market share, develop better facilities and meet local demand for A-Levels, and expanding degree programmes into Digital Design and Performing Arts amongst others.
o    The estates strategy include vastly improved performance and studio facilities for students and the community to use, as well as enhanced Business Services

–    £700k investment this year to close the Southover Building, repurposing part of the main campus site to accommodate the courses and learning resource centre

–    £9m funding application to the Government to support stage two plans for:
o    refurbishing current buildings with new frontage, offering a modern opening.
o    building a new three-storey building at the heart of the campus.
o    New social spaces also feature in the estates development plan, creating additional areas for students between lessons.

Newhaven –

–    A small specialised campus offer in collaboration with Newhaven Enterprise Zone, opportunities with the Future High Street and Town Deal Funds allow the campus to directly collaborate with construction and regeneration, engineering and logistics as well as local apprenticeships.

– Sussex Skills Solutions, the apprenticeship and training arm of the college, launched Skills for the Future, to give adult learners opportunities in the workplace such as Boutique Modern and other sector-based work.

–    Working with stakeholders to explore potential move into alternative site at the UTC building in the next few months.

For support and advice on how to progress with your business goals get in touch and one of our team will contact you to discuss you needs.