Cash boost ‘directly benefits businesses’

The tidal walls on the east back of the River Adur, looking towards Coronation Green S02204H14
The tidal walls on the east back of the River Adur, looking towards Coronation Green S02204H14

BUSINESSES leaders and councillors have welcomed the news of Government investment in Shoreham.

They say the Coast to Capital Growth Deal, announced last week, will directly benefit businesses across the district, bringing £202million from Whithall on top of the £173million Greater Brighton City Deal announced earlier in the year.

Shoreham will get £9.5million for the Adur Tidal Walls Scheme, improving flood defences to protect homes and unlocking land for business, as well as improving transport access.

A further £7million will be used to create an engineering centre of excellence, as a collaboration between Shoreham firm Ricardo and Brighton University.

Council leader Neil Parkin said: “I am delighted that this important Growth Deal investment is going to benefit the business and resident communities of Adur in such a direct, tangible, way.

“Improving our flood defences, allowing us to unlock land for living and working, will directly demonstrate our growth potential in the short and medium terms.”

Andrew Swayne, chairman of Adur and Worthing Business Partnership, said the funding would mean the Adur Tidal Walls Scheme could be implemented, alongside a sister scheme in Newhaven.

“I hope the Environment Agency can expedite these schemes so that we can give the homes the protection they deserve and start planning the growth hubs which depend on these defences,” he added.

Shoreham Port said the plans for the town would give people confidence to invest in the regeneration of Shoreham Harbour.

Development director Peter Davies said: “Shoreham Port welcomes the injection of public investment in Sussex and the confirmation of specific funding for flood defence and transport schemes in Shoreham. This supports our Port Masterplan.”

Scott Marshall, director for the economy at Adur and Worthing councils, said the authority was pro-actively helping businesses to grow and develop, establishing the area as one of science, technology and creativity.

“The impact of this investment funding will be felt throughout our business communities – from the newest business start-up to the world-leading companies we have based here,” he added.

Adur Tidal Walls Scheme covers the east and west banks of the River Adur in Shoreham, protecting more than 2,300 households and 160 commercial properties currently at significant risk of flooding.

The Environment Agency has been working with Adur District Council on the project since 2012.

An agency statement said: “Shoreham is vulnerable to tidal flooding from the River Adur. The risk of flooding will increase over time as climate change leads to sea level rise. In some places the existing defences need replacing.

“The improved flood defences will provide better protection from tidal flooding to properties and businesses on both the east and west banks of the River Adur in Shoreham.”

Surveys have been carried out along the route of the proposed works, to gather detailed data on ground conditions and height levels.