Secret service officers are to carry out a simulated terrorist attack in Sussex to test the county's resolve.

The National Counter Terrorism Security Office, part of Mi5, is to hold the "attack" in Chichester to assess how the city would react.

Officers will use audio visual effects and film footage to walk business leaders through the immediate aftermath of a terror attack and demonstrate how they and the emergency services should respond.

A spokeswoman for Chichester District Council, which is helping to organise the event, said: "While centred around a terrorist incident, the evening will provide valuable information and advice that can be equally useful to prevent local crime and to recover, and be able to continue to trade, following a fire, serious crime, flooding or other more common incidents that could affect the city centre."

The security services are keen that British cities, particularly their businesses, are able to recover from terror attacks because they are vital to the economy.

Research shows that many businesses cease trading in the 18 months following an attack simply because they do not have plans in place to cope.

The simulated attack is to take place on June 12 at the Assembly Rooms, North Street, Chichester.

Senior figures from the National Counter Terrorism Security Office will be on hand to issue advice and answer questions.

For more details call 01243 534677, or email