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University of Sussex appoints new estates director to oversee £500m campus masterplan

The University of Sussex has appointed a new Director of Estates and Facilities Management to oversee a major £500-million redevelopment and on-going improvement of its campus, due to be rolled out over the next 10 years. 

Simon Neale will join Sussex in mid-July from the National University of Singapore where he is Associate Vice President of Campus Infrastructure. 

Mr Neale has held leadership roles in various large organisations including the University of Essex, Queen Mary University of London, Westminster City Council, The British Museum and The National Trust. 

At Sussex, he will be responsible for overseeing the University’s relationship with Sussex Estates and Facilities, the University’s facilities management partners. He will also lead the implementation of the University’s Campus Masterplan, which was approved in 2016 and will guide the investment of around £500-million to upgrade and transform the University’s site at Falmer.  This includes the development of new student residences, where work is already under way, and a Life Sciences estate, which was approved by Brighton & Hove City Council in February 2017. 

The role is currently filled by Charles Dudley, who has been with the University for over 40 years and is due to retire in September this year.  

Adam Tickell, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sussex, said: “I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Charles Dudley for his outstanding contribution to the life of the University and for successfully seeing Sussex reach this crucial point and handing the baton over to Simon Neale. 

“This is an important appointment at a pivotal moment for our University. 

“Simon has an exemplary track record of leading complex and diverse teams of skilled individuals and of expertly co-ordinating large-scale infrastructure and capital development programmes. 

“Working closely with our neighbours, local authorities and the residents of the city and beyond, Simon will make an excellent addition to our leadership team as we embark on this very exciting phase for our beautiful campus.” 

Mr Neale said: “I’m thrilled to be joining Sussex as it enjoys one of the most successful periods in its history, whilst still remaining true to many of the wonderful values on which it was founded in the 1960s, including the conservation of its unique architecture and landscape. 

“I am looking forward to working with the University community and the people of the city, to ensure that these major developments for the University are delivered successfully.” 

Mr Neale is a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and holds an MBA from Henley Business School, a Postgraduate Diploma in Building Conservation from the RICS and a BSc in Building Surveying from the University of Reading. 

The University’s Masterplan provides a framework for the future development of campus and includes:

  • New state-of-the-art academic and research facilities
  • 2,117 new student rooms on campus and facilities to support this expansion
  • Respectful conservation of architect Sir Basil Spence’s famous listed buildings and surrounding landscape
  • The creation of an estimated 2,400 new jobs in the local community.

By: James Hakner
Last updated: Tuesday, 16 May 2017