Chichester University says it is in Bognor Regis to stay

We’re in Bognor Regis for good, the University of Chichester’s vice-chancellor has pledged.

Professor Clive Behagg said the current £13m investment in the campus on Upper Bognor Road had ended any speculation about its future.

“£4m of that came from our own money and £9m was public money,” he told Arun District Council’s cabinet.

“It’s a big investment as far as we are concerned.

“The exciting thing is that is a line in the sand. We are a two campus university with 75 per cent of our activity found on the Chichester campus and the rest focused on the Bognor campus.

“It’s been that way for a number of years.

“Every time we come to a recession, the question has been asked by the board of governors about being able to afford to run two campuses.

“Did we ought to sell the Bognor campus and put everything in Chichester? We will not have that debate in the future now we have spent £13m.

“We are in Bognor to stay and we will work hard to make that a successful venture.”

Prof Behagg said the university’s commitment to Bognor could be seen by its willingness to base its newly-formed symphony orchestra in the town.

Council leader Gillian Brown said: “Bognor is very lucky to have such a thriving university. It’s not just the education side and the business side.

“It’s the economic impact of having students in the town as well as the university’s work with the council on the regeneration of Bognor.”

Prof Behagg’s presentation to the cabinet on Tuesday (April 10) concerned the emerging 2013-18 strategy being devised by the university’s executive team in an era of increasing fnancial pressure on students.

It was envisaged the university would still grow because of its record of success and good reputation.

But the pace would be slower than the doubling of the Bognor campus foreseen a few years ago.

Bognor has 1,520 students out of 5,690. That number would grow to 1,693 next year, of whom 75 would be international students compared to the current 72.