5 November 2013

All systems grow for City Deal

The Greater Brighton City Deal moves a step closer today as a team from across the region present the bid for the funding flexibility and new investment to Government.

1 The Greater Brighton: Superfused City Region proposals set out ambitions to improve job prospects, earnings and business opportunities by establishing growth centres across the city region which draws on one of the most highly skilled work forces in the UK.

2 Research into Brighton’s creative tech cluster has shown that fused businesses which bring together creative content and technology, grow three times faster than the average business.  The City Deal aims to spread this success across the Greater Brighton area.

The bid sets out ambitions to

  • Become the South East’s most improved economy linked to London
  • Establish a prominent creative tech growth centre in Brighton’s New England quarter to compliment Tech City in London as the nation’s fastest growing tech cluster.
  • Develop a network of university backed growth centres, unlocking sites from Newhaven to Worthing to create space for businesses to grow
  • Commit £ 8.3m of new public sector investment and unlock £173m of new private sector investment
  • Deliver 8,500 new jobs across the region over the long term.
  • Create a new Greater Brighton Economic Board of public, private and university sector partners to lead the region’s economic strategy.

Through the ‘City Deal’ programme, the government is giving city regions more freedom and flexibility to kick start their economies according to their local strengths.

The leaders of Adur and Lewes District Councils, Mid Sussex and West Sussex County council, Worthing Borough Council and Brighton & Hove City Council have worked in close partnership with the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership on the bid.

Brighton & Hove City Council leader Cllr Jason Kitcat said; “This is a very exciting stage of the City Deal process. A tremendous amount of hard work and collaboration has gone into developing a bid which will strengthen our economy and nurture local business. We are rightly very ambitious and I am delighted the city region’s importance to the national economy has been recognised. We are going beyond traditional boundaries to bring together a true partnership that will improve our area for all.”

Adur leader Neil Parkin said;" It has been great working with so many other Local Authorities for the common good"

Mid Sussex leader Garry Wall said:“ The City Deal provides Mid Sussex with a real opportunity to deliver our District Plan ambition to create a Business and Science Park in Burgess Hill to extend the influence of research universities into our District and generate economic growth.”

Tony Mernagh Executive director of the Brighton & Hove Economic partnership said; “City Deal has been a great catalyst, bringing together the different actors in the City Region to address some long-standing challenges and grasp some exciting opportunities”

Phil Jones, Wired Sussex said: “The Brighton Fuse research has clearly demonstrated the importance of the creative tech sector to our economy. Most of this cluster of companies didn’t even exist ten of fifteen years ago, but now they are key to the city’s current and future prosperity.

It is clear that there are barriers to growth for these companies. The infrastructure of the city hasn’t been able to keep pace with the cluster’s growth. Workspace which is right for these businesses is in really short supply especially in those areas of the city that these businesses want to be, and broadband capacity is not good enough to enable these companies to create and deliver their new products and services effectively.

 Our hope is that the Greater Brighton city deal bid will help with these issues, and that’s why Wired Sussex has put a lot of time and resources into helping develop it, including being a central part of the team which is actually pitching the deal to ministers. In the deal, we are asking the Government to be open to new thinking about these infrastructure challenges and to be as ambitious for us as we are for ourselves.”

Editors notes

1 The Greater Brighton: Superfused City Region covers Adur and Lewes District Councils, Worthing Borough Council along with Brighton & Hove City Council. The bid is supported by a range of local businesses and organisations including the two universities, business associations in the region and key companies looking to invest in the area such as EON, American Express, Ricardo, and EDF.

2 The Brighton Fuse, a 2-year research and development Project conducted by academics and overseen by the National Council for Universities and Business and Wired Sussex, analysed the growth of Brighton’s successful creative, digital and information technology (CDIT) cluster and piloted schemes to promote further innovation and economic development

More information on the Government’s City Deal programme can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/policies/giving-more-power-back-to-cities-through-city-deals