Greater Brighton backs multi-million pound bids to revive landmarks and build new homes

The new leader of Greater Brighton is backing four multi-million pound bids to government for major projects in the region to restore a landmark, revive a town centre, promote cycling and create a cultural mile.

Cllr Phélim Mac Cafferty has written letters supporting the bids which had been submitted to the government’s Levelling Up Fund by three members of the City Region.

Cllr Mac Cafferty, who was voted into the chair of Greater Brighton last week, told the government all four were strong bids which were supported by all members of the City Region.

They are:

  • An £18.5m project from Mid Sussex District Council to revitalise the town centre of Burgess Hill creating 172 new homes, commercial space, new walk and cycle ways and a digital hub
  • A £9.5m bid from Brighton & Hove City Council to support the restoration of Brighton’s famous Madeira Terrace to help reestablish the city’s eastern seafront as a culture and leisure destination
  • Almost £20m from Worthing Borough Council to support the town’s cultural mile including projects to enhance the Museum and Art Gallery and revive the iconic Lido
  • A £20m project from Arun District Council to deliver a leisure cycleway route from Littlehampton to Arundel down the western bank of the River Arun and a commuter route between Arundel and Ford station

Although the bids have been submitted by individual councils, Cllr Mac Cafferty, who is also leader of Brighton & Hove City Council, said he thought it was important to show they had the support of the wider region.

“Three excellent and imaginative bids speak to the motivation in our region to punch above our weight. Running as a golden thread through the bids is the desire to create jobs, support the creative industries and provide many much needed homes. I have backed up the bid with a letter to the Secretary of State for Levelling Up to impress upon him the importance of the bids.” he said, “Across the Greater Brighton area we will do everything we can to make sure the government does not just see Levelling Up as a way of simply siphoning money away from the South East. Our region needs and deserves investment and as local leaders we know there are areas of real deprivation, low skills and stubborn poverty that need to be tackled. This is where our bids fit like a finger in a glove as they can really help revive local economies.”

The four councils who have submitted the bids are expected to hear if they have been successful later this year. Meanwhile the government’s Levelling Up white paper also tackles the issue of changes to local government, creating more city regions and elected mayors where they are called for.

A report to the Greater Brighton Board says the government has put a particular emphasis on local authorities showing clear evidence of net zero carbon policies through green growth and support for creative industries. It says Greater Brighton is already well placed on both these fronts to attract further investment from Whitehall.

Cllr Mac Cafferty said:

“We believe we are in an excellent position making the case with government ministers for more investment to grow our local economy sustainably and give back to the national economy. We are working on several ground-breaking green growth projects and are completely committed to innovating our way to a net zero economy.

“We are also celebrated for our creative industries and have powerful opportunities to grow this sector. Together we will make a compelling case for government support when we speak in one voice.”

The Greater Brighton City Region stretches from Brighton, north to Crawley, west to Bognor and east across to Seaford and consists of seven local authorities as well as businesses and education providers, including two globally recognised universities, legally constituted to protect and grow the economy.

Photo: Madeira Terrace, Madeira Drive, Brighton (NHLE Code 1381696, Wikimedia)

Madeira Terrace, Madeira Drive, Brighton (NHLE Code 1381696, Wikimedia)

Photo: Worthing Lido (and sign inset)

Worthing Lido (and sign inset)

Photo: The River Arun and Arundel cathedral at Arundel

The River Arun and Arundel cathedral at Arundel (Pixabay - 164103)

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