East Sussex projects to receive over £11 million to support economic recovery and create over 440 new jobs
Eight projects, put forward by East Sussex County Council, will receive funding from the recently announced South East Local Enterprise Partnership’s (SELEP) £85 million share of the Government’s new Getting Building Fund to deliver jobs and help East Sussex economy recover.
The county will receive £11.18 million of the £85 million given to the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) to support initiatives that will drive economic growth across the region.
The funding will support projects to deliver 445 new jobs and safeguard a further 177 across East Sussex, as well as creating an additional 177 jobs during the construction period. More than 8,000 sqm of commercial space will be unlocked, and over 400 new learners will have access to new skills facilities and programmes. The funding will also help release an additional £9.7 million in public/private sector contributions, meaning a total investment of nearly £21 million into East Sussex.
Councillor Keith Glazier, leader of East Sussex County Council, said:
This funding is fantastic news and comes at exactly the right time to help businesses who face unprecedented challenges as they recover from the effects of the Covid-19 crisis and the restrictions put in place.
“Not only will the funding help to safeguard jobs, it will create new positions, which will be welcome news for those people facing redundancy due to the uncertainty caused by the global pandemic.”
The eight projects, which will be delivered over the next 18 months, including the conversion of a building in Newhaven to create commercial space for marine sector businesses, new manufacturing units in Hastings, a co-working hub at the centre of Lewes, the restoration of a Victorian pavilion in Eastbourne’s Winter Gardens, improved accessibility to Charleston, and the creation of retail, leisure, office and community space in the Observer Building in Hastings. They also include the development of the world’s first large-scale solar farm to directly power Direct Current (DC) electrified railways in East Sussex.
Graham Peters, chair of Team East Sussex, the federated growth board to the SELEP, said:
“We are delighted by this additional funding which will quickly enable a whole range of exciting projects in areas of real interest across the county.
“These projects reflect the breadth and variety of the East Sussex economy and demonstrate some real innovation, sustainably building on our quality of life and skills base. Crucially they will all aid the county in its recovery from Covid-19.”
Jess Steele, Director of White Rock Neighbourhood Ventures Ltd, The Observer Building project said:
“We are delighted to be selected for the Getting Building Fund. Ambitious, community-led spaces like the Observer Building have the power to spark the kind of neighbourhood regeneration and transformation we need if we are to respond to the challenges that lie ahead for Hastings. We will be creating spaces for all kinds of uses that can adapt over time to meet community need and improve the local economy.
The building is also a cornerstone of the Hastings Commons, an ecosystem of connecting buildings that will be community-owned and run in an historically deprived part of the town. We would love to see many more projects like this get the funding and support they need.”
Cllr James MacCleary, Leader of Lewes District Council, on UTC Maritime and Sustainable Technology Hub project, said:
“As someone lucky enough to live in Newhaven I know how important this landmark building is to the town. It has such potential and it’s been so sad seeing it sit empty for so long. I’m also pleased that proposed completion on the UTC hub project is relatively soon, scheduled for March 2022 it will dovetail with bids for even more investment in our town.
Newhaven is really on the up and this is just more proof of that. The Co-operative Alliance has made support for businesses central to our plans for the district, so the prospect of this new commercial workspace, alongside an education and training offer, is very welcome.”