“I am absolutely delighted that we are making some real progress on this major and vital project and with the selection of the Chichester College Group (CCG), we are now in a position to make substantial moves forward.
“This is a great result for Mid Sussex and with thanks to Minister Anne Milton MP at the Department for Education and to the superb work by officers at Mid Sussex District Council.”
Statement issued jointly on behalf of Mid Sussex District Council and West Sussex County Council
The re-opening of the former Central Sussex College site in Harlands Road, Haywards Heath, moved a significant step nearer today.
Following a highly competitive process, which included direct contact with over 20 organisations across Sussex, the Chichester College Group (CCG) has been selected to lead the project to bring the site back into educational use.
CCG includes Chichester College - which received an ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted rating in all aspects in 2014 and in 2018 for its care standards. The group is committed to working closely with local schools, employers and the community to set up the post-16 provision for Mid Sussex.
In September, Anne Milton MP, the Minister of State for Apprenticeships and Skills, agreed to look at bringing the Harlands Road site back into use to meet the needs of young people in Mid Sussex. This followed a strong case being presented to government by Mid Sussex District Council, West Sussex County Council, Coast to Capital LEP and the University of Sussex. This work was championed within government by Sir Nicholas Soames MP.
The steering group will now put CCG forward to the Treasury as its preferred provider.
Councillor Garry Wall, Leader of Mid Sussex, said: “I am pleased that the selection process was so competitive and there was such enthusiasm from providers to run a first-class college in Haywards Heath.
“This council has worked very hard to make sure a college is re-opened on the site as it is much-needed by the growing population of Mid Sussex. I look forward to the Chichester College Group working closely with us, local communities and employers to tailor a wide-ranging curriculum to suit our young people.”
Richard Burrett, Deputy Leader of West Sussex County Council and Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said: “Chichester College Group has an excellent track record of delivering outstanding education to thousands of students across West Sussex and edged out a number of other very credible, local providers who also submitted bids.
“We are keen to assist as a partner in this exciting project as it moves a step closer to becoming a reality.”
Shelagh Legrave, CCG Chief Executive, said: "Chichester College Group is very pleased to have been selected as the preferred provider to re-open the college in Haywards Heath.
“We are excited about the opportunity to deliver post-16 education for the learners of Mid Sussex and are committed to providing the highest quality skills to meet the needs of local people and businesses. We look forward to working closely with West Sussex County Council, Mid Sussex District Council and key stakeholders to finalise our proposition and timeline to enable an opening in September 2020.”
The steering group would like to thank all the providers who submitted proposals.
The government will now consider the recommendation to appoint CCG to run the site from 2020.