Board's Representation on Engineering & Digital Technology Park Planning Application

White paper Apr 05 2016

Bognor Regis Regeneration Board

 4th April 2016

 

Dear Sir/Madam

 

Proposed Engineering and Digital Technology Park – Application BR/54/16/PL

 

With reference to the above planning application I am writing on behalf of the Bognor Regis Regeneration Board who are fully in support of this important investment by the University of Chichester in Bognor Regis.

 

The Board brings together leading representatives from the key public, private and community stakeholders in Bognor Regis and is a major driver in encouraging and facilitating key investment projects in Bognor Regis.

 

The proposed £24 million University project is very important for Bognor Regis and builds on the long standing commitment that the University has had towards the campus and the town. Recent investments of £13m have seen the refurbishment of the Dome, the focal point for the School of Enterprise Management and Learning, and the Learning Resource Centre.

 

The impact of the existing Business School and the proposed new Engineering and Digital Technology Park on the regeneration of Bognor Regis cannot be overestimated. The Technology Park is expected to attract an additional 1200-1500 student providing STEM (science, technology engineering and mathematics) skills for both existing local businesses and those considering relocation to Enterprise Bognor Regis employment sites. This investment concurs with the Board’s objectives of raising educational and skills attainment and raising average wages locally.

 

Currently the University’s campuses in Chichester and Bognor Regis are estimated to generate £88million and £36million per annum into the respective economies. The additional 1200 -1500 students at the expanded Bognor Regis campus and in the town will almost double the economic impact in the town to an estimated £69million per annum.

 

The proposal reflects the impact of the Higher Education  sector working closely with business and demonstrates the University’s response to the increase demand for STEM skills from employers.  We welcome the University’s commitment to developing 40 new STEM related undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, which will be closely integrated with the needs of industry. The planned increases in University Halls of Residence, from 230 beds to more than 500 on the campus will double the current number of first year students residing in Bognor Regis, It is understood that it is the University’s objective is to provide additional student accommodation in Bognor Regis for second and third year students.

 

We welcome these initiatives which are aimed at supporting the growth of engineering and technology businesses and acting as a catalyst for the development and retention of an entrepreneurial, start-up and micro business culture in Bognor Regis. This will include working with local businesses for development and delivery of curriculum providing apprenticeships, placements and internships.

 

We note that the University, through its Bognor Regis based Business School, has already made significant investments to support local business via a range of business support services, guidance for start-ups, incubation facilities, consultancy and support for employers who need access to CPD (continuous professional development) programmes.

 

The University’s Engineering & Digital Technology Park proposals are part of the overall strategic plans set out in the draft ADC Local Plan to encourage strong links between education and industry to facilitate economic regeneration via investment and employment for the benefit of the local community.

 

The Board welcomes the Technology Park planning application and wishes the University every success.

 

Yours sincerely

 

David Myers

Advisor to the Regeneration Board 



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