A NEW £16 million creative and digital industries centre is to built on The Met car park.

Greater Brighton Metropolitan College will put the centre on the site in Pelham Street, Brighton, as an extension to its tower block, which will be refurbished.

The Met also has outline planning permission to knock down the old Victorian school buildings on the opposite side of Pelham Street and build 135 new homes.

Various ideas to redevelop the college had fallen through in the past 15 years, councillors were told today.

The £16 million project has a £5 million grant from the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership but even with the proceeds of the sale of the Victorian building, it would still fall £1.9 million short.

However, councillors were told that the shortfall was considered acceptable as the building needed updating and the college buildings were described as “not fit for purpose”.

St Peter’s and North Laine Green councillor Lizzie Deane raised the issue of the lack of any affordable housing.

She said that council policy was that at least 40 per cent of homes in new developments should be affordable.

Met chief executive Nick Juba said that the development was not about making a profit but being an investment in education as currently the facilities had the lowest grading.

He said: “We are the college that trains our future plumbers, chefs and hairdressers.

“They are the economic engine at the heart of the Greater Brighton economic area.

“It is really not just about economic development. We are one of very few drivers of social mobility in the city.

“We help young people and young adults alter their life circumstances.”

Councillors approved the application.