“When the Greater Brighton Economic Board was formed, it was done in recognition of the fact that the economic performance of this wonderful city region had for some time been falling short of the expectations of constituent local authorities, education providers and businesses,” says Daniel Humphreys, Chair of the Greater Brighton Economic Board and Leader of Worthing Borough Council.
“While each of the local authority areas is a distinct place in and of itself, we all know that while we and our residents identify with those places, the economy doesn’t recognise local authority boundaries.”
The economic needs of the five local authority areas that make up the “Greater Brighton” city region overlap and intertwine to a degree that cooperation and collaboration within this partnership was seen as a natural step to take to ensure that the economic prospects of all areas were given a boost.
There can be no doubt that the Greater Brighton Economic Board is moving forward on its key agenda items.
We have attracted investments of over £92million in 2015-16, and we are now developing further bids to bring an additional £78million investment into our region. Over the next year, we’ll see the infrastructure, housing and technology projects which broke ground in the last twelve months progress, with new skills and employment projects coming on-stream to support our growing economy further.
I am especially pleased to see the great strides being made on our skills programme, based on analysis of our knowledge economy and our projected needs. We have seen the Advanced Skills Centre open in Shoreham to boost our STEM base, the Digital Catapult Centre to contribute to our digital/creative agenda and, in the next year, we will see Plumpton, Sussex Downs and Worthing Colleges all benefit from the investment needed to take our knowledge economy to the next level and ensure that our residents are equipped to take advantage of the opportunities provided.
Investment across the city region is also making a real difference to its communities. Flood defences are coming forward to protect land for homes and businesses, transport networks are being refined to get people and business moving, and innovative new schemes are looking at ways to improve sustainable transport. Information will begin to flow more rapidly for more people, thanks to focus being brought on attracting highspeed broadband links across the area.
We are at the cutting edge of learning here in the Greater Brighton Region. Using the wisdom of our partners and feedback from the local, national and international systems in which we operate, we are creating a vision of a more prosperous, more dynamic and more self-reliant future.
I am proud to serve as the Economic Board’s Chairman for 2016-17 and very much looking forward to the journey that we’ll be taking together.