19 December 2012
Canterbury Christ Church University can now confirm that it has entered into a contractual agreement to sell its Salomons campus in Southborough, near Tunbridge Wells.
The University has owned the site since 1996 and has, over the last 16 years, delivered a range of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes as well as operating a thriving conference and events business.
The main mansion along with the conferencing and events activity is being sold to Bishops UK Ltd which is part of the Markerstudy Group and is based in Tunbridge Wells. The new owners will continue to run the event and wedding business that is already associated with the Salomons estate as well as using the facilities as a training centre for their staff.
The rest of the estate will be owned by Browncape Estates Ltd and the University will be leasing back the Stable Block and Gate Lodges in order to continue to provide a base for its Applied Psychology programmes and consultancy work for the next 3 - 5 years, allowing it to undertake a strategic review of its future West Kent campus needs.
Andrew Ironside, Acting Vice-Chancellor of Canterbury Christ Church University said, “We are delighted to have secured an agreement with Browncape Estates Ltd and Bishops UK Ltd for the transition of the Salomons estate. Most importantly, Bishops UK Ltd will continue to take forward the conferencing and events activity of the estate and will retain our current events staff. “
“Both organisations have reaffirmed their commitment to preserving the historic heritage of the estate and we are pleased that Browncape Estates Ltd will help us ensure that our successful Applied Psychology programmes and consultancy work can stay at Salomons for at least the next 3 years.”
Lizzie Smith-Foreman, Head of Group Marketing and Communications for Markerstudy Group, said: “We’re a rapidly expanding company and the Salomons estate suits our needs perfectly. We intend to develop a training facility that will keep pace with the requirements of the business as well as an engaging day out for the public.”
Notes to Editor
The Markerstudy Group includes the insurance arm of the business: Markerstudy Insurance Company Limited and Zenith Insurance plc (acquired in January 2010) plus supporting companies Markerstudy Limited and Zenith Insurance Management UK Limited, providing distribution, claims and administrative support. The following brands operate within the Markerstudy Retail Division: The Insurance Factory, Insurance Factory.com, Insurance Shop, Insurance Factory Commercial, Mobilers and Caterer’s Club, all of which offer value and choice to a wide range of customers.
Wessex Finance, a sub-prime lending and premium finance facility is also an integral part of the Markerstudy Group.
The Markerstudy Group also encompasses Auto Windscreens, which joined the Group in February 2011, and Tonbridge Coachworks Vehicle Repair Group (which incorporates Tonbridge Coachworks, European Automotive Solutions and Canterbury Accident Repair Specialist) acquired in June 2011.
Canterbury Christ Church University
Canterbury Christ Church University is a modern university with a particular strength in higher education for the public services.
With nearly 20,000 students, across Kent and Medway, its courses span a wide range of academic and professional subject areas.
- 93% of our recent UK undergraduates are in employment or further studies six months after completing their studies*.
- Christ Church is the number one choice for local people looking to study at university in Kent (2011 UCAS).
- We are the South East’s largest provider of courses for public service careers (outside of London).
- 2012 is the University’s Golden Jubilee, reflecting on 50 years of higher education and innovation.
*2010/11 Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey