With up to £200,000 of South East England Development Agency (SEEDA) and DCLG money, it will offer a part-time postgraduate certificate, diploma or MSc in planning from next month.
SEEDA research found that demand for planners outstrips supply in Sussex and surrounding areas. Students have to travel to Reading for fast-track qualifications.
The agency's South East planning skills partnership project manager Carol Wheeler said: "Local authorities are prepared to send people for training but they do not want to travel far." There are 11 places left on the 20-student course and bursaries of up to £1,000 are available.