THOUSANDS of jobs are expected to be created by a new digital hub, which will be announced today.

Brighton and Hove is one of three cities in the country which made a winning bid to become home to a ‘Digital Catapult Centre’.

Government funds of £500,000 will be allocated for its initial set up – with millions of pounds expected in additional linked investment and future funding.

The centre will open at New England House, Brighton, in March 2015 and create a space for creative and tech start-ups and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to develop and share digital ideas.

Universities will work with SMEs on low-risk innovations to accelerate new digital products and services to market.

A key focus will be on the field of real-time, location-based data, known as the ‘internet of place’, with Brighton already home to international specialist companies such as Brandwatch, iCrossing and DC Storm.

The tech and creative industry represents 15% of all employment in the city and generates about £720 million for the economy.

High bandwidth will link Brighton with additional centres in Bradford and Sunderland, as well as a central hub in London King’s Cross, due to be opened today by minister for the digital economy Ed Vaizey.

The Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) secured backing for the centre, which is expected to benefit an area covering West Sussex, the Gatwick Diamond, Croydon, Lewes and Brighton and Hove.

It will be implemented by an LEP-led consortium, including key partners the University of Brighton and Wired Sussex, as well as American Express, Brighton and Hove City Council and Gatwick Airport.

Phil Jones, digital champion at Coast to Capital LEP, said: “Digital Catapult Brighton will operate around three principles: innovation, collaboration and openness.

“The projects it houses will provide real opportunities for start-ups and small digital businesses to work with each other and with universities and large corporates to turn ideas into activities with real value to them.”

Tim Wates, chairman of Coast to Capital LEP, said: “We are confident that the work our centre undertakes will open up opportunities to create genuine value and competitive advantage, not just for the Coast to Capital region but nationwide.”