THE FORMER boss of the University of Sussex has taken over at the West Pier.

Professor Michael Farthing will be taking over the role of chairman at the West Pier Trust.

Prof Farthing will be helping the trust move to a new seafront office and develop a new programme of for fundraising the Grand Old Lady for the next decade.

He takes over from Glynn Jones who has been chairman for the past 12 years.

Prof Farthing said: “It was a real honour to be invited to join the West Pier Trust team at such an exciting time in its history. The opportunities to develop the trust and its assets for the benefit of Brighton and its visitors have never been better, thanks to the devoted stewardship of the trust by my predecessors, who kept their nerve during some challenging times. Now we will need bold ideas and strong support from our members and the wider community to secure the glittering future”

During his time as Vice Chancellor at the University of Sussex, Prof Farthing implemented a strategy which saw a doubling of student numbers and turnover. He was also responsible for driving the regeneration and opening of the Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts.

Chief executive, Rachel Clark, said: “The trust is delighted that Michael Farthing has agreed to take the helm of the West Pier Trust. Our ambition is to see the West Pier Trust become a dynamic heritage site for the city and Michael’s track record clearly demonstrates that he has the capacity to take that ambition and make it a reality.”

A spokeswoman for the trust said said that Prof Farthing joined at a “key moment in its history.”

Adding: “Having delivered the British Airways i360 and now on a more secure financial footing, the trust looks forward to its return to a seafront office and developing an exciting new programme for the coming decade. In his role as chairman Michael will lead the strategic planning and fundraising for this programme, forging bonds between the trust, the city of Brighton and Hove, and the wider national and international heritage and arts communities.”