Plans for new school in Burgess Hill take a step forward


Plans to develop a new school in Burgess Hill have taken a step forward as West Sussex County Council sets out its immediate and longer-term plans to provide school places in the area.

The council has agreed to identify additional funding for the ongoing development of the building and site for secondary-age pupils at The Bedelands Academy and to start the process of procuring the construction contracts.

Projected costs have risen by £16.94 million, bringing the total required budget to £74 million, mainly due to inflation and the rising cost of materials. In addition, more than a third of the costs for the school building (£26.56m) are due to the challenging nature of the site and the planning requirements that apply to the scheme.

The county council is working with The University of Brighton Academies Trust, who will run the new school, to ensure the delivery of temporary new secondary school places in 2026 while work on the main site is completed, with the plan to use existing space on the site of The Burgess Hill Academy.

Cllr Jacquie Russell, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Children, Young People, Learning and Skills, said: “We remain committed to delivering a fantastic new school in Burgess Hill, providing much needed school places for the existing local community and future residents that will support people to fulfil their potential in line with Our Council Plan priorities.

“Cost increases and challenging logistics are an unfortunate, but often unavoidable, part of large-scale building projects such as this, and our officers are working hard with the academy trust to ensure we are able to provide additional secondary school places in Burgess Hill when they are needed.”

Dr John Smith, Chief Executive Officer of The University of Brighton Academies Trust, commented: “The collaboration between West Sussex County Council and our Trust exemplifies our shared commitment to providing quality education and meeting the needs of the local community.

“While we acknowledge the challenges posed, we remain dedicated to exploring all available options to support this phase of the project and to deliver an exceptional learning environment for generations to come.”

The ambitious design for the secondary building will enable it to generate its own renewable energy on site without using any fossil fuels. It aims to be the first school building in West Sussex to achieve ‘Passivhaus’ certification, the highest standard of energy efficiency a building can reach, as well as offering excellent educational facilities to local children.

When completed, the building and site for 900 secondary-aged pupils will be part of The Bedelands Academy, an 'all-through' primary and secondary school located in the new Brookleigh development, formerly known as Northern Arc. The building and site for primary-aged pupils are being developed separately by Homes England.

Read the decision in full and find further details on our Bedelands Academy information page.

Share this

Do you have any feedback about this page?

Help us improve this website

Let us know if this page was helpful so we can make improvements. Add a star rating and leave your feedback below to show how useful you found this page.

Rate this page:
Clear star rating...
  • West Sussex County Council will only use this email address to respond to any issues raised.

Last updated:
26 March 2024
Share this