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Eastbourne Sports Centre Update

University of Brighton confirms plans to safeguard Eastbourne campus leisure facilities for local community






University of Brighton has identified a preferred bidder for its Eastbourne campus sport and leisure facilities and has entered into a ‘period of exclusivity’ to progress the transfer of ownership.


A local partnership of Wave Active and South Downs Health and Care has put forward plans for a health and wellbeing ‘hub’ at the Denton Road site in Meads, bringing together high-quality sport and leisure facilities alongside provision of accessible NHS and private community healthcare services.

University of Brighton announced in January 2022 that it would be closing its Eastbourne campus as part of a plan to consolidate its activities on its three Brighton campuses – Moulsecoomb, City and Falmer. Courses currently taught at Eastbourne will move to the University’s improved and expanded Falmer campus from September 2024.

Since the decision to close its Eastbourne campus was made, the University has worked closely with local stakeholders including Eastbourne Borough Council and Caroline Ansell MP to identify options for its sites in the town including Eastbourne Sports Centre, known locally as Hillbrow Sports Centre, on Denton Road.

The University has held discussions with a number of interested parties and has identified the joint proposal from Wave Active and South Downs Health and Care as offering the best option for the University and the local community in Eastbourne.



Matt Kitson, Director of Estates at the University of Brighton, said:This exciting development is good news for the University and the local community in Eastbourne.

“Since the decision was made to move our courses to Falmer, our focus has been on finding a new owner for the facilities at Hillbrow whose vision aligns with the University’s longstanding commitment to supporting local health and wellbeing.

We know how important this is to residents in Meads and across Eastbourne, and we are delighted that the proposal put forward will not only ensure the ongoing use of the leisure facilities but also present new opportunities to improve access to community healthcare services.”



Duncan Kerr, CEO Wave Active, said: “I am delighted that our partnership with South Downs Health and Care (SDHC) has been selected to create a fantastic new Health and Wellbeing Hub at Eastbourne Sports Centre.

“My thanks to our partners SDHC and also the leadership of Eastbourne Borough Council for their support.

“The hub is great news for local residents and in direct response to calls for the continuation of sports services at the site, alongside bringing in new activities to support positive health and wellbeing outcomes for the community. I am also pleased that new employment opportunities will be created as a result.”


Dr Nick Harvey, CEO of South Downs Health and Care, said:“South Downs Health and Care (SDHC) is delighted to be taking on Eastbourne Sports Centre in partnership with Wave Active.

“Together we have a vision of enabling the best possible health and wellbeing in our community. SDHC is a local social enterprise, providing NHS and private community healthcare services. Through this partnership, we will integrate our healthcare operations and expertise with a healthy living, activity focused, leisure and sports centre environment to create aHealth andWellbeingHub.

“Our person and community-centred approach will have an emphasis on positive outcomes for physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing in both the short and long term. Continued collaboration with University of Brighton will retain opportunities for students in healthcare and leisure,bringing benefits to the community,long into the future.”


Eastbourne Sports Centre will close on 31 July 2024, with University of Brighton employees currently based there moving to new sport and health facilities at Falmer campus in Brighton.


Plans for the re-opening of the site will be set out by the new owners.