What will Brighton & Hove’s economy look like in the next five years? What will it be like working in the city? What opportunities will the next generation of businesses offer to residents?

Brighton & Hove’s new economic strategy to 2024 provides a blueprint for the city and the Greater Brighton region to become one of the UK’s most productive and inclusive economies.

Active business in Brighton & Hove grew by 20% between 2012 and 2017 and there are now 15,840 businesses in the city. The strategy aims to ensure they will be able to take on current challenges and future opportunities.

The strategy urges businesses, entrepreneurs, educators and communities to be bold and build on our local reputation for openness, creativity and innovation.

Councillor Nancy Platts, lead councillor for the economy, said: “The new strategy recognises that the next 20 years will be very different and sets out how the city can be a trailblazer for new business ideas and models. We want to create a low carbon economy and ensure the benefits of our success are shared with all those living here.”

Business sectors such as digital, ‘green’ technology, life sciences, higher education and tourism are strong in the city. In 2018 Brighton & Hove was voted the best place to start a small business and has one of the best qualified workforces in the country, as well as having the highest number of home workers.

The strategy was developed by Brighton & Hove Economic Partnership and the council with partners across the city, looking at practical solutions to challenges that affect the city’s performance and growth potential.

Over the next five years the strategy will bring together businesses and communities to test new approaches and take forward business ideas. These include:

  • Promoting a wider take-up of the Brighton Living Wage to encourage and support sustainable employment
  • Working towards ensuring social value through procurement and community wealth building
  • More targeted support for small businesses in the city so they can stay, grow and access new markets
  • Exploring the potential for the city to become a test bed for innovation in retail using virtual reality to create new experiences in high street shopping. (Digital Catapult Brighton, University of Brighton and Redevco are currently exploring this as part of the Hannington Street development)
  • Offering training in digital skills to fit in with business needs by creating better links between employers and local creative digital training provision such as the Greater Brighton MET Creative Campus project
  • Building on the strengths of our universities in clean/green growth, digital media, advanced engineering, quantum computing and life sciences to develop opportunities for growth and innovation
  • Connecting the resources and expertise of the universities and colleges to ambitious companies large and small, across the city region

Nick Hibberd and Max Woodford from the council’s economy, environment and culture directorate introduced the new economic strategy at a special Brighton & Hove chamber of commerce event on 14 March.

Click on the relevant link for a copy of the economic strategy executive summary, full report and evidence base.

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