The Secretary of State met with representatives of Mid Sussex District Council, the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Professor Tickell of Sussex University and local businesses.
Two topics were discussed; the prospect of a regionally significant Science and Technology Park in Mid Sussex and the future of the Harlands Road campus in Haywards Heath.
The Science and Technology Park has the potential to provide quality space for Universities and high tech companies to grow and conduct research. It is an essential component in the overall growth package for Burgess Hill, which will see new homes, community infrastructure, a new town centre and road improvements.
The Business Secretary heard about the significant work already underway to develop a Science Park and welcomed this important initiative.
Sir Nicholas said; “I was delighted to welcome the Secretary of State to my constituency. The District Council is spearheading very ambitious and well thought through plans for Burgess Hill.
“The Science Park could have enormous potential for the whole region and is perfectly located. I was very encouraged by the support for this from business and academia”.
The Secretary of State also visited the Harlands Road site in Haywards Heath. This former Central Sussex College site was closed last year, despite being significantly refurbished in 2011.
Sir Nicholas, the District and County Councils and the Local Enterprise Partnership are working together to try to build consensus locally to bring the site back into educational use.
Councillor Garry Wall, Leader of Mid Sussex District Council said; “Sir Nicholas has been working very hard within Government to re-open the Harlands Road site. Locally the District Council has been working with West Sussex County Council and the LEP to get support for a sixth form college on the site.
“Mid Sussex is going to grow hugely over the next 10 years and must have its own college. We see great potential for a college with a focus on maths, science and technology to compliment the businesses already in Mid Sussex and the potential Science Park. There is a great opportunity here if we can just cut through the red tape.”