Greater Brighton Metropolitan College (the MET) was given unanimous approval by Brighton & Hove City Council’s planning committee on 5th December for their plans to redevelop and improve facilities at their Pelham Street campus in central Brighton.
The College, which delivers technical, vocational and professional education to 15,000 students of all ages, aims to invest in its facilities, particularly to help address the regional skills shortages in creative, digital and IT businesses.
Nick Juba, CEO of The MET, said, “We are delighted to have the opportunity to create a state of the art centre for creative and digital industries that will teach and train the next generation of talent for this sector on a local and regional level. We also need ground floor level, shop front areas for our nationally acclaimed hair and beauty and catering courses, to invite the public in to use our services and help give practical experience to our students.”
Following the merger of City College Brighton and Northbrook College in 2017, the College now has five sites in Sussex and its Pelham Street campus in the heart of Brighton is the only one without recent significant investment.
Working with award winning, locally-based ECE Architecture, the College is proposing to partially refurbish the tower, prioritising the educational facilities inside, and to build a new modern facility adjoining Pelham Tower on the College car park to create a new Centre for Creative and Digital Industries and a ‘shop front’ for the service industry curriculum, with ground floor access to hair and beauty services and a café. Proposals will also provide an improved entrance and arrival at the college and attractive outdoor space, which will be open to the public.
The buildings on the east side of Pelham Street are proposed to be redeveloped as new homes to fund the improved college facilities, along with a £5 million Coast to Capital LEP grant.
Continued Nick Juba, “We recognise our vital role in addressing the regional skills shortages and this project will create high quality facilities helping us to deliver vocational learning to more young people and adults across the region.”
Vice Chancellors from both Sussex University and the University of Brighton voiced their support for the scheme, along with many businesses in the city and the Coast to Capital LEP.