Development Securities has exchanged contracts with Brighton and Hove City Council to purchase Preston Barracks, which will be redeveloped as part of plans to expand the University of Bristol.

Cathedral Group, part of Development Securities, have announced contracts have been exchanged for the Preston Barracks site. Brighton and Hove City Council, who own the land, bought it from the Ministry of Defence.

The barracks, which were built in 1793 and have stood empty for the last two decades, will now be redeveloped by the Cathedral Group into a mixed-use space. Plans also include the redevelopment of the university-owned car parks located at the Watts building and Mithras House into student accommodation.

The news follows a £7.7m cash injection granted by the government on 7 July to help the University of Brighton. It forms part of a wider £17.4m scheme to develop research and invest in new infrastructure at the university.

The proposed plans for the 2.2 hectare site will see the expansion of the university’s Moulescombe campus. It will comprise of 500 new student bedrooms, as well as new academic buildings.

Plans also include 350 private domicile units—20 per cent of which will be affordable—and 25,000 sq ft of shops.

Matthew Weiner, of Development Securities said: “The regeneration at Preston Barracks offers the potential to bring forward a significant, £150m mixed-use redevelopment, that set within a wider mixed-use regeneration project, will transform this part of Brighton, creating a gateway to the north of the city.

“Work will now begin on site immediately to set the stage for the upcoming programme of spectacular events planned for the next two years.”

Plans also include new commercial space. The Central Research Laboratory will offer 55,000 sq ft for commercial start-ups and small and medium enterprises dedicated to high-tech manufacturing.

Vice-Chancellor of the University of Brighton Professor Julian Crampton said: “We have worked closely with the City Council and Cathedral Group to create a comprehensive plan.

“The development incorporates a range of uses from residential accommodation and student residences, to space for a new university academic building and innovation space for the university and business to work closely together.”

Leader of Brighton and Hove City Council Jason Kitcat said: “The development will deliver hundreds of good homes, while the student accommodation will ease pressures on family homes.

“Hundreds of jobs will be created and we will radically improve the appearance of this key gateway to the city while supporting Brighton University’s future success.”

Planning permission will be sought once the plans have been finalised.


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