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Nescot is delighted to confirm that the project to build an Institute of Technology in the Coast to Capital region has taken an important step forward.

The final paperwork for the project, led by Chichester College Group (CCG) in partnership with Nescot, the University of Sussex, University of Brighton has been signed by all partners and has now been officially named the 'Sussex & Surrey Institute of Technology.’

The now project moves into what is called the ‘pre-operational’ stage – which means the green light has been given for contractors to be selected for the new building at Crawley College and work will start to ready the opening of the Institute of Technology by October 2024, although provision in other facilities will start in 2023.

The Sussex & Surrey Institute of Technology (IoT) will include a an Information and Communications Technology specialism at Nescot and new state-of-the-art centre at Crawley College, housing engineering and digital ‘Learning Factories’. Specialist satellites will also open at locations across the region.

The IoT– which has received more than £14million investment from the Government – will create cutting-edge facilities for higher technical educations with a focus on digital and sustainable technologies, with the aim to widen participation into Higher Education and provide a pipeline of talent for local and regional employers.

Andrew Green, Chief Executive of CCG, said: “We are delighted to see our plans for the Sussex & Surrey IoT taking shape.

“It has been a long and complex process so far, and we are only the second consortium in the second wave of IoTs to reach this point – which is credit to the team who have been working so hard and diligently behind the scenes.

“The IoT will provide a vital opportunity for all of our communities, across Sussex, Surrey and Brighton & Hove, and it will give them access to an innovative and leading skills curriculum which will champion social mobility.

“Our courses will be designed and delivered in partnership with employers, ensuring we are meeting their needs across a range of industries including digital, engineering and construction.”

Professor Debra Humphris, Vice-Chancellor of University of Brighton, added: “We are now a significant step closer to the IoT opening its doors, which is fantastic news for people and businesses in our region. The Institute will provide new pathways for learners from all ages and backgrounds to progress into higher education, expanding their knowledge and developing valuable new skills that we know are in demand from local employers.

“Working closely with Chichester College Group, our Institute of Technology will create an exciting new partnership between universities, colleges and employers to deliver the technical skills we need now and in the future. It will complement and build on the University of Brighton’s strong track record of educating the professionals of tomorrow through high-quality, practice-based learning.” 

The Sussex & Surrey Institute of Technology is also supported by several industry partners, including Roche Diagnostics, Gatwick Airport, Southern Water, Wates Group, Irwin Mitchell, Pearson, Coast to Capital, NatWest and Gatwick Diamond Business.

Julie Kapsalis, Nescot’s Acting CEO and Principal, said: “We are really proud of the progress that our partnership is making with the Sussex and Surrey IoT. The institute is a great example of the power of education providers and employers working together to provide the qualifications that our communities need. The training and the specialist facilities that we will be able to offer from the IoT will change the lives of people across our area, and we’re glad Nescot is able to be part of this exciting venture.”

Ian Wakeman, Head of School for Engineering and Informatics at University of Sussex, added: “We’re really excited to be a part of the IoT. Through the IoT, we will provide a joined up educational pathway in which people can progress all the way from post-16 education through to Masters level whilst remaining within work, and get exposed to the internationally recognised research that happens within universities.”

IoTs form a key part of the Government’s policy to increase higher technical education across the country, as it aims to encourage more people to continue studying as well as attracting people of all ages to upskill or retrain.

In particular, they are designed to spearhead the delivery of higher technical education in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects, bring colleges and universities together with employers to equip local economies with a skilled workforce.