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Sector specialisms

Rural West Sussex’s main specialisms are:

  • Land management and land based industries

    West Sussex is one of the UK’s most wooded counties and its rural environment means that land management and land-based industries thrive locally.  Its mild climate and high light levels mean that it is one of the UK’s leading glasshouse areas, whilst its agricultural land provides it with outstanding local produce. Some of our leading horticultural businesses include:


    • Fargro, a leading distributor and supplier of exclusive horticultural products including agrochemicals, niche hardware and machinery products, which also sells electricity, natural gas, propane and oil products to our growers throughout the UK.


    • Farplants is the largest wholesale supplier of outdoor plants to Garden Centres and Garden Centre chains in the UK, employing up to 500 staff during the peak gardening period through the Spring and early Summer.


    • VHB Herbs is the leading grower of fresh herbs and seedlings in the UKproducing over 14 million fresh potted herbs, supplying more than 23 million packs of fresh cut herbs and over 12 million punnets of salad cress per year.



    • There is a wide range of agricultural businesses in the county, including agricultural merchants, suppliers of agricultural machinery, farms, vineyards and country estates, including West Dean, Cowdray and Goodwood estates.
  • Food and drink

    The food and drink sector is an important part of the Rural West Sussex economy. 



  • Tourism

    The outstanding natural environment makes Rural West Sussex an important visitor destination with close proximity to the south coast, its beaches and marinas


    • There are around 170 accommodation businesses in Rural West Sussex and visitor attractions include nature reserves; museums, historic properties; forests and woodlands; parks, gardens and farms.


    • People visit Rural West Sussex for walking and cycling holidays, leisure excursions (including hot air balloon trips); paragliding, horse-riding and golf. Few places can offer such high class sports venues as Goodwood as a major sporting venue and Cowdray Park for international polo events.



  • Digital and creative industries

    Rural West Sussex benefits from its fabulous natural environment and access to Brighton’s creative, digital and IT cluster.


    • There are a number of growing creative and innovative companies who have moved into rural locations to develop their creative talent.


    • The Storm Creative Partnership provides high quality creative and in-depth marketing expertise from the heart of Rural West Sussex. It is an award winning design agency, located close to Gatwick airport and half way between London and Brighton, with easy access to all major routes and international venues.

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