Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has awarded £3.66 million to West Sussex County Council towards the purchase of the former Novartis site in Horsham.
West Sussex County Council confirmed late last year that it had finalised the purchase of the 18.6 acre site, in Wimblehurst Road, Horsham.
Leader of the County Council Louise Goldsmith said: “I am delighted the LEP has awarded £3.66 million towards the purchase of the site. By committing funding, the LEP is showing their confidence in our plans. Our ambition is to transform the site into a quality employment and residential development and we are working with commercial advisors to finalise our vision and proposition for the site by developing the right mix of business, office accommodation and start up space to transform it.
“This is an important development locally and we will ensure residents are involved in our plans as they unfold.”
Peter Catchpole, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health, said: “The County Council’s ambition is to attract businesses from the health and life sciences sector as we know this is a growing industry with huge potential. This will be a major boost to the West Sussex economy, and one which we hope will create many new jobs.”
As part of the application to the LEP for funding, the County Council committed to create jobs and new commercial floor space at the site.
Jonathan Sharrock, Chief Executive of Coast to Capital, said: “Coast to Capital are delighted to support West Sussex County Council in the purchase of the Novartis site, the project will support positive regeneration while being retained for significant employment use as well as providing much needed local housing.”
A lot of work has taken place since the County Council announced it intended to buy the site formerly owned by global health care company Novartis in January 2016. Detailed work has been carried out, including site evaluations to ensure the County Council was securing a good deal for the taxpayer with its initial investment.
The demolition of several buildings has also taken place to prepare the site for any new development.
Louise added: “We have been extremely careful to ensure we are confident that this multi-million pound purchase will bring about the huge benefits to the county that we are wanting. We know we need to provide value for money to the taxpayer and this purchase will not only boost our local economy, but will bring a return to the County Council on our investment. By giving us funding, the LEP is helping towards this process.”
Any businesses interested in the redevelopment opportunity can find out more at www.investwestsussex.co.uk/novartissite