Brighton and Hove and West and East Sussex have secured national tourism status from VisitEngland.

A new local visitor economy partnership (LVEP) by Sussex’s two county councils and the city council work collaboratively on ways to sustainably grow the visitor economy, attract more leisure and business visitors, inward investment and access to funding.

The pan-Sussex approach will embrace local visitor destinations and businesses and raise the profile of the county as a national and international visitor destination.

Hedley Swain, CEO of Brighton and Hove Museums, has been appointed to chair the new board.

He said: “This is an exciting time and we look forward to working with partners to develop and deliver the new tourism growth strategy, setting out a target of £2.5 billion growth by 2030.

“We welcome the opportunities offered by the LVEP to work nationally with VisitEngland to the benefit of the industry across Sussex, including a strategic channel of communication to national bodies, access to targeted business support and training programmes and marketing and travel trade activities.”

The LVEP will be able to access expert advice, dedicated toolkits and VisitEngland training programmes on product distribution, accessibility, business support and marketing and the opportunity to bid for potential national funding streams.

Andrew Stokes, director of VisitEngland, said: “LVEPs are at the heart of transforming the visitor economy landscape in England and we are delighted East Sussex County Council, Brighton and Hove City Council and West Sussex County Council worked together on the partnership bid.

“There is an incredibly diverse visitor sector across the region, where past and present blend, from the vibrant city of Brighton and Hove to rustic hamlets, iconic coastal views, outstanding cultural attractions, a stunning national park, and a growing wine tourism offer - all proudly supported by creative and welcoming communities.

“The new LVEP will lead on the sustainable growth of the visitor economy and ensure the region is a compelling leisure and business visitor destination to the national and international markets.”

Brighton and Hove City Council leader Bella Sankey said she is “really excited” about the LVEP accreditation.

She said: “Combining the vibrancy and diversity of Brighton and Hove with the amazing countryside and coast, culture and heritage, food, drink and hospitality across the region, we offer an outstanding visitor experience.

“We are looking forward to deepening our joint working for the economic success of all communities in our partnership.”