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Government’s cash investment in West Sussex

Coast 2 Capital chief exectutive, Ron Crank. Photo by Derek Martin

Coast 2 Capital chief exectutive, Ron Crank. Photo by Derek Martin

TAKING the growth of the region into its own hands, a local enterprise partnership (LEP) investing in West Sussex, has secured £202m from central government.

Coast to Capital has signed a deal which will see the start of a six year investment programme in jobs, infrastructure and transport.

The deal is worth £202m over six years, starting with investment of £38m of new funding in 2015/16 and it will deliver 14,000 jobs, 4,600 new homes and 190,000 square metres of employment space.

Investment will take place in flood defences, major transport schemes, international trade and support for businesses across West Sussex, Brighton and Hove, Lewes, East Surrey, Croydon and the Gatwick Diamond.

David Gauke, exchequer secretary to the Treasury will join Coast to Capital chairman Tim Wates and chief executive Ron Crank, to announce the deal today (July 7) at Gatwick Airport in front of local business leaders.

Here is what the project aims to deliver:

- Bognor Regis: A29 re-alignment between the new Bognor Regis Relief Road and the A27 which will bridge the West Coastway railway line, avoiding congestion points and current delay points at a level crossing. It will include four to five new junctions, plus cycle and pedestrian facilities. The realignment will allow new development of business and employment opportunities in Bognor Regis. Up to £13m investment with £700,000 in 2015/16.

-Chichester College and City College in Brighton- Refurbishment of dilapidated buildings and facilities to allow an increase in trainees, apprentices, disabled learners and new links to local businesses. £11m in 2015/16 with a further round for new projects of £10m in 2016/17.

- In addition, and subject to due diligence, government will provide loan funding through the Local Growth Fund (Housing Infrastructure) of £1.9m to Hanbury Properties (Chichester) Ltd to accelerate the delivery of 500 homes on Shopwhyke Lakes, Chichester site.

-Successful businesses: Equity, debt and grant funding for businesses that can create new jobs, but who cannot get mainstream commercial funds. Up to £9.5m with £1.2m in 2015/16.

- Support for businesses to trade internationally. A new gateway will be set up at Gatwick to boost trade with Southeast Asian markets, in close association with UKTI. Up to £3.7m, with £0.6m in 2015/16.

- Wood Fuel initiative with the Forestry Commission - Sustainable use of primary natural resource to produce wood fuel as a renewable energy source and local building materials. Up to £800,000, with £400,000 in 2015/16.

-Digital Growth – providing key business locations with the digital connections needed to compete internationally and new mobile 5G technology research with neighbouring LEPs. Supporting small firms to get e-commerce skills and complete the superfast broadband roll-out. Up to £3.4m with £700,000 in 2015/16.

-Advanced Engineering Centre – a collaboration between the University of Brighton and Ricardo in a new Centre of Excellence to deliver leading automotive and environmental engineering training and research. Ricardo is a global strategic, technical and environmental engineering firm based in Shoreham. Up to £7m with £4.5m in 2015/16.

-Flood Defences in Newhaven and Shoreham - In Newhaven, this will open up major brownfield sites for housing and employment land plus new harbour facilities. In Shoreham, the flood defences and transport access improvements will allow land to be used for housing and businesses. £1.5m in Newhaven and £9.5m in Shoreham.

- Circus Street, central Brighton - a city centre mixed use regeneration project of a site to deliver new homes, office building, student accommodation, a library and academic buildings. Up to £2.7m with £1.5m in 2015/16.

-Preston Barracks Central Research Laboratory - a joint venture between University of Brighton, Cathedral and Brighton Council to create a new innovation hub to commercialise academic research and incubate high growth businesses, with new housing. £7.7m with £1m in 2015/16.

- Sustainable Transport Packages – a range of projects will tackle congestion and improve sustainable transport in local areas across the Coast to Capital area. This will enable improvements to walking and cycling links; improvements to junctions and traffic management systems to ease traffic flow and reduce congestion and improvements to public transport, such as bus and taxi priority measures and better Interchanges. £31.7m with £3.7m in 2015/16.

- Crawley Area Transport Package - Includes junction improvements, bus priority schemes, modal interchange and improvements to walking and cycling. £18m with £2.6m in 2015/16.

-Resilience Schemes - Intelligent Transport System traffic management, strategic road maintenance and flood and critical incident alleviation, mainly in East Surrey. £30.9m with £5.5m in 2015/16.

-The Coast to Capital Board will use a package of flexible measures to unblock two derelict sites in East Surrey, enabling their redevelopment to create new homes and business premises. £0.4m in 2015/16.

-An £8.7m investment to The Croydon Gateway Ltd to accelerate the delivery of 625 homes on Ruskin Square site, Croydon (this is jointly with London Local Enterprise Partnership).

The funding from Whitehall was secured following Coast to Capital’s preparation of a strategic economic plan for the region. This substantial investment from government will unlock an additional £83m of investment from local partners and £158m from the private sector. Combined together this will create a total new investment package of £443m for the Coast to Capital region.

There will be a further £237m invested in the new housing which will subsequently be enabled by this investment.

The Growth Deal does not amount to an endorsement of everything in the submitted Coast to Capital Strategic Economic Plan. All development decisions for specific proposals must go through the normal planning process, be guided by local plans, be subject to any consultation requirements and be guided by local plans.

Visit www.coast2capital.org.uk/ for more on Coast to Capital and its plans.

Reaction on the deal

Coast to Capital chairman Tim Wates said: “We are pleased to sign this deal with government as the start of the six year growth plan.

“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 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.”

Ron Crank, Coast to Capital chief executive, said: “Investment in the region’s business infrastructure is vital for its successful future performance and there is much to do. We must ensure this first year programme is delivered and we must prepare the investments and projects for the remainder of the six year programme.

“It is clear, that as successful as our region already is, we need significant investment in our transport infrastructure, in business support and in skills, if we and the UK as a whole, is going to compete internationally. We welcome this investment in our region by Government and our continued discussions about our ambitions for Enterprise Zones and for new housing projects in Croydon.”

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.”

The 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 cities, towns and counties so they can become powerhouses. 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 country”

The deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg, who is the chairman of the Local Growth Cabinet Committee said: “We are ending a culture of Whitehall knows best. Decisions over spending on infrastructure, business support and housing are being made at a truly local level.

“It will help end our over-reliance on the banks and the City of London, and generate growth, jobs, and ambition in towns and cities all across England.

“Growth Deals will create thousands of jobs, provide incredible new training opportunities for young people, build thousands of new homes and improve transport links across the country for people and their families; building a stronger economy and a fairer society.

“We’re placing the power and money in the hands of the people who know how to spend it best, making a real difference to local communities.”

Greg Clark, minister for Cities, said: “This is a landmark day for Britain’s local economies. National growth is the sum of local growth. For Britain to prosper every part of the country needs to fulfil its potential. No two places are the same and the people who live, work and do business in each place know best what their area needs to do well. Today is the day when we back local leaders to create jobs and prosperity in their area.

“These Growth Deals build on the success of our City Deals. I look forward to meeting with all LEPs over the next few weeks to negotiate the next instalment of Growth Deals building on this momentum.”

Lord Heseltine said: “In every experience I have had of backing local people, local experience and local initiative the results have seriously exceeded expectations.

“Today’s announcement is a giant step in the rebalancing of our economy.”

Alex Pratt, chairman of the LEP Network Management Board said: “The zest for growth captured in the LEP Strategic Economic Plans has been met by a powerful vote of confidence in the quality of our bottom-up, evidence-led vision and focus.

“This moment brings us to an exciting new beginning for coalface-inspired growth. Every LEP will be focussing hard on delivering its growth promises.”

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