New Shoreham office block could bring hundreds of jobs to the area

Chris Goodman - Focus, Ralph Gilbert - Focus, councillor Neil Parkin and councillor Brian Boggis during a tour of Focus House SUS-190708-164026001
Chris Goodman - Focus, Ralph Gilbert - Focus, councillor Neil Parkin and councillor Brian Boggis during a tour of Focus House SUS-190708-164026001

A new office block that has brought hundreds of new jobs to Shoreham has been officially opened.

The four-storey, £9.5million block on the former Civic Centre car park in Ham Road will be home to communications company The Focus Group after it relocated from Southwick.

Focus House in Ham Road SUS-190708-164014001

Focus House in Ham Road SUS-190708-164014001

The larger building, which is owned by Adur District Council, will allow the company to expand its workforce from 250 to 450 workers.

After a tour of the newly-christened Focus House, council leader Neil Parkin said he was impressed with the quality of the construction and The Focus Group’s investment in transforming the inside of the building.

“I’m delighted to see this new building open, which looks great from the outside and even better on the inside,” he said.

“In this current climate, it is extremely rare for local authorities to design and build offices to meet the local need for high quality employment space. But this deal shows that we are prepared to think creatively about how we can use our assets to get the best possible return for local residents.

“I want to thank Focus for its great commitment to Adur, investing a substantial sum to relocate within the area which will provide local people with employment.

“I wish them all the best in their ambitious proposals to grow and look forward to our new tenants going from strength to strength.”

The development has brought back into use the car park site, which has stood largely vacant since the Civic Centre closed in 2013.

Work on the site started a year ago and the project, which was supported by £1.8million of funding from the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership, was finished by April.

Focus said it hoped to add 150 to 200 jobs in the first 18 months of occupation.

Ralph Gilbert, of Focus Group, said: “I want to thank everyone at Adur District Council for their support with this project.

“It’s a really exciting time for our growing company and, even just a few weeks into our tenancy at our new home, we are already starting to reap the benefits.

“We have said all along that we wanted to make this building one of the best offices in the region so that we can attract the best staff while showcasing some of the groundbreaking technology which we advocate and install for firms across the UK.

“I think after their visit, councillors can see that we were serious about the promise.”

Councillors recently agreed to pursue a proposal from Hyde Homes to create 171 flats above office space for small and medium businesses on the main Civic Centre site. Read more here: New affordable homes planned for key Shoreham site