Millions spent on new homes, education and business in Brighton area

Greater Brighton Economic Board members at the group's July meeting
Greater Brighton Economic Board members at the group's July meeting

Millions of pounds of government money is going towards new education, business and digital projects in Greater Brighton, as well as thousands of homes, according to a new report.

They were set out in the Greater Brighton Economic Board annual report which was formally approved for public release when the board met on Tuesday (July 17).

Six housing projects alone across the Greater Brighton area have been awarded £48 million of funding from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government in the past year.

The city region covers an area that includes Brighton and Hove, Adur and Worthing, Mid Sussex, Lewes and Crawley.

The largest chunk on housing in the past year is the £15.2 million towards the King Alfred scheme in Hove, where 565 homes and a new leisure centre are planned.

Free Wharf, on the Western Harbour Arm in Shoreham, has £10 million earmarked for flood defences, 540 homes, a public open space, shops, offices and restaurants.

And the North Street Quarter in Lewes also has £10 million going towards 400 new homes by 2025.

Through the Greater Brighton City Deal and Coast to Capital Growth Deal, the area received £90 million towards a wide range of projects.

In education, for instance, the report highlights the new £9 million Construction Trades Centre built at Greater Brighton Metropolitan College’s East Brighton campus in Whitehawk.

The site opened for this academic year to train electricians, plumbers, carpenters, painters, bricklayers and plasterers.

At Brighton University, the new Advanced Engineering Centre received £7 million in Local Growth Fund cash.

The site in Moulsecoomb has an extra 30 to 50 research posts and replaces a dual site in Shoreham previously used in partnership with the engineering business Ricardo.

Brighton Bike Share, the New England House Creative Tech Growth Centre, the Digital Catapult Centre and 5G testbed are among other projects supported by Local Growth Fund cash.

Cllr Daniel Yates, Labour leader of Brighton and Hove City Council, said: “The annual report is brilliant and demonstrates what the board does in collaboration, not just as a group of authorities, but in line with other organisations and education.

“We all need to develop collaboratively – and work to develop our own economic needs.

“Brighton cannot develop all of its economy, all of its jobs and all of its housing.”

Cllr Geoffrey Theobald, the former Conservative opposition leader in Brighton and Hove, was a member of the board from its start in 2014.

He said he was pleased to see the progress that had been made in its first four years.

Cllr Theobald said: “I think this has been one of the most successful boards that the council has set up in many years.

“It has brought council leaders, universities and business all together and brought money in.

“I am very satisfied we have seen a lot of success with projects that have taken some time to do.”

After years of delay, he said that he was pleased to see projects at Circus Street and Preston Barracks finally happening.

Sarah Booker-Lewis is the Local Democracy Reporter for Brighton & Hove.

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