The government has agreed a £30 million package of investment intended to create jobs and boost the economy in Brighton and Hove.
The funding will support a number of schemes designed to attract private sector investment, build homes and infrastructure and support education and transport.
The schemes include three involving Brighton University – in Circus Street and Preston Barracks in Brighton and a joint project with the Shoreham engineering business Ricardo.
City College Brighton and Hove will receive financial help so that it can build more modern classrooms.
And a plan to improve flood defences and transport access in and around Shoreham Harbour will protect homes and businesses.
Government ministers have approved a six-year spending programme through the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to fund the projects.
The Coast to Capital area stretches from Croydon to Brighton and Hove and takes in West Sussex, the Gatwick area and Lewes and Newhaven.
The LEP has signed a £202 million “growth deal” with the government with about £30 million expected to help the economy of Brighton and Hove.
Treasury Minister David Gauke will join Coast to Capital chairman Tim Wates and chief executive Ron Crank to announce the deal today (Monday 7 July) at Gatwick Airport.
The funding from Whitehall has been secured after Coast to Capital’s preparation of a strategic economic plan for the area. The first year will bring £38 million across the wider area.
Mr 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.”
The main projects expected to have an impact on the economy of Brighton and Hove are
• Digital growth – The LEP aims to provide key business locations with the digital connections needed to compete internationally and will pioneer new mobile 5G technology research with neighbouring LEPs. It will support small firms to get e-commerce skills and complete the superfast broadband roll-out. The cost of the scheme is up to £3.4 million with £0.7 million in 2015-16.
• Advanced Engineering Centre – a collaboration between the Brighton University and Ricardo in a new Centre of Excellence to deliver leading automotive and environmental engineering training and research. The cost of the scheme is up to £7 million with £4.5 million in 2015-16.
• Flood defences for Newhaven and Shoreham – The Newhaven scheme will open up major brownfield sites for housing and employment land plus new harbour facilities. In Shoreham the flood defences and transport access improvements should allow land to be used for housing and businesses. £1.5 million has been budgeted for Newhaven and £9.5 million for Shoreham.
• Circus Street, Brighton – a city centre mixed use regeneration project of the old fruit and veg market to deliver new homes, an office building, student flats, a library and academic buildings. The cost of the scheme is up to £2.7 million with £1.5 million in 2015-16.
• Preston Barracks Central Research Laboratory – a joint venture between Brighton University, the developer Cathedral and Brighton and Hove City Council to create a new innovation hub to commercialise academic research and incubate high-growth businesses, with new housing. The cost of the scheme is about £7.7 million with £1 million budgeted for 2015-16.
• City College – refurbishment of dilapidated buildings and facilities to allow more trainees, apprentices, disabled learners and new links to local businesses. The cost of the scheme is about £11 million in 2015-16.
• Sustainable transport packages – a range of projects to 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. The cost of the scheme is about £31.7 million with £3.7 million in 2015-16.