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Watch Coast to Capital Launch Gatwick 360 – its Ambitious Manifesto for the Area

Watch the promo video for Coast to Capital’s new Strategic Economic Plan, Gatwick 360°.

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Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) launched its new Strategic Economic Plan at its Annual General Meeting (AGM) last month.

The plan – Gatwick 360˚ – sets out the scope for economic growth in an area which is hugely important for the national economy and has Gatwick Airport at its heart.

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Following this event a promotional video has now been unveiled which shares the key messages from the strategy and showcases the launch. The AGM was held in public providing full transparency to the public and all of Coast to Capital’s stakeholders and partners.

Coast to Capital’s vision by 2030 is for the towns and cities in the Coast to Capital area to be known around the world as fantastic places to live, to grow and succeed and for the area to become the most dynamic non-city region in England, centred around a highly successful Gatwick Airport.

The strategy sets out eight priorities to grow the area’s economy which include specific actions on urban centres, business infrastructure, sustainable growth, skills, innovation, digital networks, transport and identity. The publication of the strategy is the first step in the LEP’s plan to negotiate a strong Local Industrial Strategy with Government and attract significant investment for the region.

Tim Wates, Coast to Capital Chairman said:

“The Prime Minister has confirmed LEPs as vehicles for local growth. On the back of our significant achievements to date this bold strategy will bring wealth to all our towns and cities in an area which has Gatwick Airport at the beating heart of its economy. We stand ready to make the case for investment to Government in order to scale up our contribution to the UK economy.”

Jonathan Sharrock, Coast to Capital Chief Executive said:

“I am delighted to be launching our new strategy today, the culmination of over a year’s worth of evidence gathering, analysis and stakeholder engagement. Our strategy sets out exciting and practical plans for growing our economy over the next decade, and we are now leading work with our partners to deliver them.”

Stewart Wingate, Gatwick Airport Ltd Chief Executive said:

“It’s great to see Gatwick’s vital role at the heart of the region recognised in this ambitious strategy. The Growth Corridor from London to Brighton has many strategic advantages, not least the global connectivity and ongoing investment provided by Gatwick, and I fully support Coast to Capital’s vision for the future.”

The Rt Hon Greg Clark MP, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said:

“Thank you for all the hard work that you have put into making this area of the country one of the most successful. The breadth of activity in such a relatively small geographical area is truly outstanding. From the industrious businesses surrounding Gatwick airport and Crawley, to the beauty of the South Downs, and the creative and tech industries, this really is an area that has everything. The work that you co-ordinate is hugely appreciated. It is the bringing together of these strengths that reinforces the success you enjoy.” 

Councillor Garry Wall, Chairman of Greater Brighton, said:

“We welcome today’s publication of the Coast to Capital Strategic Economic Plan which has the potential to deliver great benefits to the nearly one million residents of the Greater Brighton region. Greater Brighton knows full well the importance of Gatwick Airport to the region which is why we are delighted to have them as members of our board. We look forward to working with partners from across local authorities, business, universities and further education, to deliver on some of the aims within this ambitious strategy.”

Councillor Andy Smith, Leader of Lewes District Council, said:

“I’m delighted to support this progressive and very welcome manifesto. Coast to Capital’s integral role in the development of the Newhaven Enterprise Zone and wider contribution to other important local projects has been invaluable. We share the same ambition, standing shoulder to shoulder together in a drive to create and nurture the future prosperity of the Lewes district.”

Councillor Louise Goldsmith, Leader of West Sussex County Council said:

“The SEP dovetails with our West Sussex Economic Growth Plan: this ambitious plan will ensure that West Sussex continues to have a growing economy, that our towns flourish and that the county remains a prosperous place.”

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More business rates to be kept local and pay for gigabit broadband

A successful bid to keep more business rates in West Sussex, supported by Crawley Borough Council, will enable residents and businesses to access gigabit broadband.

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The bid, to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, to keep 75 per cent of business rates collected in West Sussex – instead of the current 50 per cent – was one of 15 successful applications out of 35 nationwide. This means that there will be an additional £19.1m retained in the county annually from 2019/20. However, this will be spent on improving digital infrastructure as we are unable to use it to help with Crawley Borough Council’s financial challenges.

Councillor Peter Lamb, Leader of Crawley Borough Council, said:

“This is good news for the digital infrastructure of the county and, once complete, the ‘spine’ will enable residents and businesses to connect to a full fibre network.

“Crawley has the biggest economy in the county and must benefit from this successful bid. However, this money is not extra for individual local authorities and will have very little impact on our finances, which are getting more challenging every year. Much is made of announcements like this but it will have no impact whatsoever on council finance or the services we provide.”

A digital ‘spine’ will be created alongside railway lines, to avoid digging up roads. A full fibre network will be laid from which residents and businesses can access gigabit broadband.

The spine will accelerate investment in and deployment of further new digital infrastructure by reducing barriers to investment in full fibre access networks and new wireless technologies.

The network will run along the Arun Valley railway line, from Ford to Three Bridges, the Brighton Mainline from Three Bridges to Brighton, and a coastal route from Brighton to Ford.

Crawley is the economic powerhouse of West Sussex. The town occupies just two per cent of the land but collects around 35 per cent of the county’s business rates. The town generates more than £120m in business rates each year but keeps only £6m; 10 per cent goes to West Sussex County Council and the rest currently goes to central government for redistribution.

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