Homes and science park plan for Horsham Novartis site

Novartis site in Horsham
Image caption Novartis closed its research and development centre in Horsham last year

A site vacated by pharmaceutical giant Novartis is to become a science and business park, financed by housing.

West Sussex County Council said it had struck a deal to buy the 19.6-acre former Novartis site in Horsham for an undisclosed sum.

Swiss-based Novartis closed its research plant last year, with the loss of over 300 jobs.

The council said the business park for health and life sciences would bring up to 1,000 new jobs to the area.

The cost of the development is expected to be covered by housing on one third of the site.

'High-quality jobs'

Council leaders said companies would be attracted by strong road links to London, the south coast and Gatwick airport.

"Our vision is to create a world-renowned centre of excellence, building on the site's respected history with Novartis," said council leader Louise Goldsmith.

"It will deliver a science and business park that will help stimulate further growth in the sector, provide high-quality jobs for the county and provide support for small, innovative start-up businesses."

Novartis said it expected to complete negotiations with the council for the sale by early summer.

"If the new campus becomes a health and life sciences hub for the region as West Sussex County Council intend, it will also help to realise our ambition of leaving a scientific legacy at the site," said UK general manager Hugh O'Dowd.

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