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Growth deal sees major investment in Sussex's jobs, homes, roads and flood defences
INVESTMENT worth £443 million will be pumped into the region after a growth deal was signed.
The six-year investment programme to boost jobs, infrastructure and transport will be poured into Brighton and Hove, Lewes, West Sussex and the Gatwick Diamond.
The deal will begin with £38 million of Government funding in 2015/16, rising to £202 million over six years.
The investment is expected to unlock an additional £83 million from public bodies and £158 million from the private sector – bringing the combined total to £443 million.
It is estimated the deal will create 14,000 jobs, 4,600 new homes and 190,000 square metres of employment space, with investment in flood defences, major transport schemes, international trade and business support.
A further £237 million investment in new housing will be enabled by the deal.
The Whitehall funding was secured following the submission of a strategic economic plan for the region by Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).
The LEP is a voluntary body bringing to together public and private investment into the region to boost economic growth, create jobs and homes, improve infrastructure and support business.
David Gauke MP, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury will join Coast to Capital chairman Tim Wates and chief executive Ron Crank to announce the deal today at Gatwick Airport before business leaders.
The LEP applied for £559 million funding in its economic plan, but the £202 million settlement described as a “significant chunk” and hailed as a vote of confidence in the region.
Coast to Capital was told by the Government it had articulated “clear and deliverable vision for the area”. Mr Crank described the award as “extremely significant”.
He said: "Investment in the region’s business infrastructure is vital for its successful future performance and there is much to do. This first phase is only the start.
“Not only do we have to make sure this first year programme is fully delivered, we also have to get ready the investments and projects for the remainder of our six year programme.
“It is clear that, successful as our region already is, we need significant investment in our transport infrastructure, in our key business areas, in our fastest growing companies, in innovation and skills if we, and the UK as a whole, are going to compete internationally.
“We welcome this investment in our region by the Government and our continued discussions about our ambitions.” The settlement includes significant investment in major projects such as the Preston Barracks hi-tech centre and the Circus Street development, both in Brighton, flood defences, homes and workspace in Shoreham and Newhaven, sustainable transport and finance for growing business.
The Growth Deal is not an endorsement of the plans submitted by Coast to Capital, with all development decisions to go through the normal planning process.
Prime Minister David Cameron said: “Growth Deals are a crucial part of our long-term plan to secure Britain’s future.
“For too long our economy has been too London-focused and too centralised. Growth Deals will help change all that. They are about firing up our great towns and cities, boosting local economies and driving growth across the country.
“This historic deal means real change for people and businesses right across West Sussex, Brighton and Hove and Lewes with big investments, including a new innovation hub in Brighton, improvements to transport links to Crawley, and rolling out superfast broadband and implementing 5G research to boost e-commerce skills across the region.
“Other projects include improvements to flood defences in Newhaven and Shoreham, which will open brownfield sites up for housing and business opportunities, and the acceleration of new homes around Chichester and Croydon.
“By trusting local people, backing business and investing in infrastructure, skills and housing, we can create thousands of new jobs. And that means more economic security, peace of mind and a brighter future for hardworking people across the South.”
Coast to Capital chairman Tim Wates said: “We believe this area has great potential for growth and is able to compete effectively with the most prosperous regions in Europe and indeed globally.
“This first year investment by the Government shows that they too believe in our region’s potential.
“The fact that we have been able to assemble such an ambitious programme with strong public and private sector commitment shows confidence in our area. “We will now convert that confidence into new jobs and prosperity for our businesses, workforce and communities, working in partnership with Government and our local partners.” Councillor Louise Goldsmith, leader of West Sussex County Council, said: “This deal is a great example of collaboration between the public sector, businesses, universities and the wider community.
“It is important we share a view of how to prioritise investment in transport and infrastructure and how we can most effectively support West Sussex businesses to grow and their workforces to succeed.
“This is only the first year of the programme we have agreed for the Coast to Capital area but we are pleased that the Government has backed our plans."
Stewart Wingate, chief executive of Gatwick Airport, said: “This investment will encourage business growth and international trade throughout the region with a thriving Gatwick acting as the gateway to existing and emerging markets.
“This ambitious programme, together with Gatwick's compelling case for a second runway, will help local, regional and national business compete on the global stage.”
The Coast to Capital Growth Deal is part of the Government’s £12 billion plan to revitalise local economies. The Government said deals were the “latest and greatest example of the British economy being rebuilt from the bottom up”.
Coast to Capital wants to double the level of international trade in the area focussing on the Southeast Asian Nations working in partnership with Gatwick airport and other partners.
The Growth Deal follows the Growing Places Fund total allocation worth £23.6 million and the Greater Brighton Deal, which secured the renovation and expansion of New England House, the focal point of Brighton’s technology cluster.
Which projects will get what?
The Preston Barracks Central Research Laboratory, a joint venture between University of Brighton, Cathedral Group and Brighton and Hove City Council to create a new innovation hub to commercialise academic research and support high growth businesses, plus new housing, will get £7.7 million.
In Brighton city centre the Circus Street development, a mixed-use regeneration project of homes, offices, student accommodation and academic buildings will receive up to £2.7 million.
Dilapidated buildings at City College Brighton and Hove and Chichester College will be refurbished to increase trainees, apprentices, disabled learners and links with local businesses, with £11 million in 2015/16 and a further £10 million in 2016/17 for new projects.
Flood Defences will be boosted at Newhaven, opening up brownfield sites for housing and workspace, with new harbour facilities, thanks to £1.5 million.
In Shoreham, flood defences and transport access improvements will allow land to be used for housing and businesses, with £9.5 million investment.
A range of projects to tackle congestion and improve sustainable transport, such as improved walking and cycling links, junctions and traffic management and public transport, will be supported with £31.7 million.
Digital growth will be supported with e-commerce training, superfast broadband and pioneering mobile 5G technology research, with £3.4 million worth of investment.
Finance for growing businesses to create jobs worth £9.5 million will be provided.
The Crawley area will get £18 million for junction improvements, bus priority schemes, modal interchange and walking and cycling.
A Centre of Excellence engineering centre, a collaboration between the University of Brighton and global engineering leader Ricardo, based in Shoreham, to deliver automotive and environmental engineering training and research, will get £7 million funding.
The ASEAN Gateway project at Gatwick Airport will help boost trade with Southeast Asian nations with £3.7 million investment.
The A29 at Bognor Regis will be re-aligned between the new Bognor relief road and the A27 to avoid congestion, with four or five new junctions, cycle and pedestrian facilities and new business and employment opportunities, with £13 million investment.
A wood fuel initiative with the Forestry Commission to encourage sustainable forestry management will get up to £800,000.
The Government also agreed provisional funding in 2016/17 for the Newhaven Port Access Road and Brighton Valley Gardens Phase 3 – transport network improvements to allow new business and innovation space, regeneration of existing area and new housing development.