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West Sussex welcomes £202m ‘Growth Deal’ for area
7th July 2014

West Sussex County Council has welcomed the £202m ‘Growth Deal’ announced today between the Government and the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership.

The deal is the start of a six-year investment programme designed to create jobs and improve infrastructure and transport for the West Sussex, East Surrey, Croydon, Lewes and Brighton and Hove areas.

The first £38 million of investment will be released for the 2015/2016 financial year.

County Council leader Louise Goldsmith 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."

In West Sussex, this investment includes:

  • Flood defences in Shoreham-By-Sea - £9.5m will be spent on improvements to flood defences and transport access, which will allow land to be used for housing and businesses.
  • Bognor Regis A29 re-alignment - supports Arun District Council’s plans for strategic development at Barnham, Eastergate, Westergate and Bognor Regis.  This is a major highway improvement which will provide access to the development and an alternative to using the Woodgate level crossing, which causes delays on the existing A29.  The timing of the scheme is dependent on the timing of development and the scheme is currently in the earliest stages of preparation. Further consultation with the public and stakeholders will be undertaken prior to the scheme being implemented. Up to £13 million has been allocated to this project.
  • Crawley Area Transport Package -Includes junction improvements, bus priority schemes, modal interchange and improvements to walking and cycling. Up to £18 million has been allocated for this project.
  • To support businesses to trade internationally, a new Association of South East Asian (ASEAN) Gateway at Gatwick Airport will be set up to boost trade with Southeast Asian nations markets, in close association with UK Trade and Investment. £600,000 will be spent in 2015/106, rising up to £3.7million.
  • 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-By Sea.  £4.5m will be spent in 2015/16, rising up to £7 million.

Other highlights include:

  • Successful businesses: Business Finance and Business TradeEquity, debt and grant funding for businesses that can create new jobs, but who cannot get mainstream commercial funds. £1.2m will be spent in 2015/16, rising up to £9.5m.
  • 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. £400,000 to be spent in 2015/16, rising up to £800,000.
  • Digital Growth – Will provide business locations with the digital connections needed to compete internationally. Pioneering research for new mobile 5G technology will be done with neighbouring LEPs. Funds will support small firms to get e-commerce skills and complete the superfast broadband roll-out. £700,000 will be spent on this in 2015/16, rising up to£3.4m.  
  • In addition, and subject to due diligence, the 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.

All development decisions for specific proposals must go through the normal planning process, be subject to any consultation requirements and guided by local plans.

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"It’s a great place to live, there is a good community spirit, there is a lot of wide ranging business support and a good range of skills available to us. We’ve got this great environment that’s a sensible distance to London.”

Andrew Swaine - Group Risk Manager - Ricardo

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