Two Greater Brighton projects to improve public services while freeing up land for major regeneration schemes have received a government funding boost.
The Greater Brighton One Public Estate programme has been awarded a further £208,000 to help it work with partners and unlock multimillion pound projects on public land in Brighton and Burgess Hill.
The aim is to use the money to bring forward these developments, creating scores of homes and improving public services while saving local taxpayers a large sum in running costs.
Greater Brighton leaders welcomed the national investment as a big boost to the regional economy, adding it showed the partnership of councils, business and education providers was paying dividends across the City Region.
Councillor Garry Wall, Chairman of Greater Brighton, said: “This is an excellent result and is yet another example of how by working together we can bring investment into our City Region.
“Given the high level of competition from around the UK for this fund, it’s a real vote of confidence that we have received this funding. In total, we have now brought in close to £2 million of investment through these government schemes which shows we must be doing something right.
“We must now put this money to good use to deliver on the jobs, homes and regeneration schemes that can help bring millions into our local economy while transforming our local communities and region as a whole.”
The One Public Estate programme was launched in 2013 to make better use of public-sector sites, cutting running costs, freeing up space for new homes and jobs while improving services to residents. It is a joint initiative between the Cabinet Office, the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government and Local Government Association
It is designed to encourage the emergency services, local councils and government departments to work more closely together by sharing sites and creating public-sector ‘hubs’ – where services are delivered in one place.
The announcement by the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government confirmed the following Greater Brighton projects were successful:
- Burgess Hill Station Quarter – £90,000
- Moulsecoomb Neighbourhood Hub – £83,000
A further grant of £35,000 will support the management of the programme.
Councillor Daniel Yates, leader of Brighton & Hove City Council, said: “The One Public Estate programme is a great example of how we are working with partners across the region to make the best use of public property and land for the benefit of all our residents, providing housing, jobs and better public services.
“We’ll use the funding to progress the Moulsecoomb Neighbourhood Hub project which is improving and bringing a range of public services together, as well as using redundant land to provide new low-cost housing. We are growing the scope of this project to provide more than 300 affordable homes and enable closer joint working between health and social care services.”
Cllr Wall, who is also Leader of Mid Sussex District Council, said: “The Burgess Hill strategic growth programme is the most ambitious programme of change anywhere in the sub-region.
“There will be significant development and investment in the area in the near future so the funding award for the Burgess Hill station quarter is vital for our community.
“This project offers a unique opportunity to maximise the delivery of new housing and commercial floorspace and facilitate the redevelopment of the station itself.”
It brings the total amount brought into the region through the Greater Brighton One Public Estate programme to £1,042,500. A further £819,000 has been received in Land Release Fund capital funding to three projects in Brighton & Hove.
Among the projects to benefit from funding is a proposal to create a new health hub for Worthing’s Civic Centre (£90,000 funding in November 2016). Others include the Hove Station Quarter (£70,000) and the North Street Quarter (NSQ) Health Hub in Lewes (£150,000) which both received funding in January 2018.
The Minister for Implementation, Oliver Dowden, said: “Getting the best use out of publicly-owned land can help to regenerate our towns and cities and give people improved access to the services they need.
“This programme shows that when government works smarter, with public authorities coming together, taxpayers get better value for money, new jobs are created and space is freed-up for vitally needed new homes.”