More than 300 jobs will be created in £5.5 million hotel and office development in a city centre.

Coast to Capital, the Local Enterprise Partnership for West Sussex, Croydon, Brighton & Hove, Lewes and the Gatwick Diamond has backed a plan to develop derelict land near Brighton station.

Block J was part of the railway goods yard until the 1970s. It is the last piece of the New England Quarter Masterplan which was started in 2001 when the area was divided into 15 blocks for regeneration.

This is the first investment that has drawn down money from the Government’s Growing Places Fund through Coast to Capital.

The LEP has £23 million of Government funding under the Growing Places Fund and expect to announce further loans soon.

Ron Crank, chief executive, Coast to Capital said “Our aim is to remove blockages that are preventing development and private sector employment. This is one of Coast to Capital’s major strategies. Substantial budgets have already been approved and further funding for projects will be announced shortly.”

Tim Wates, vice chairman of Coast to Capital and chairman of the Growing Places Committee, said: “This project is typical of those in which we would like to invest. We are looking for both the private and public sector to come forward with innovative projects that will provide employment in our area.”

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