Across the Greater Brighton City Region, public bodies are coming together through the pioneering One Public Estate programme to use their property as a catalyst to boost economic growth and improve how public sector services are delivered.
With the encouragement of the Greater Brighton Economic Board, public sector organisations across Brighton & Hove, Adur, Worthing, Lewes and Mid Sussex have been asked to think about making best use of their assets.
- land-owning organisations – such as councils, NHS bodies and emergency services – identifying building and land they no longer use which could be made available for housing and local regeneration;
- bringing public services together in one place to make better use of space and drive service improvements;
- actively seeking out opportunities for joint working to improve customer experience.
The idea is to improve services and re-invest any capital receipts made from disposing of assets into generating growth.
Thanks to the Greater Brighton programme, public property valued at over £2 billion is set to be unlocked in the next five years throughout the region. That has the potential to create more than 1,300 new jobs and 1,200 new homes in the region over the next ten years.
The local programme – which has been driven by a government idea – was agreed by the Greater Brighton board in November 2016.
Already, progress is being made – with investment of £280,500 made into the region in the 2016/17 financial year, with a further £316,500 due to be invested in 2017/18.
The following sites across the Greater Brighton City Region have been identified and are being driven forward:
Springman House, Lewes
This mid to late 20th Century office building holds the key to a £150 million redevelopment of Lewes town centre.
The former NHS administration building sits just outside the planned North Street Quarter (NSQ) redevelopment.
The Greater Brighton Economic board is working with Lewes District Council to turn the plot into a new home for Lewes Fire Station, operated by East Sussex Fire and Rescue.
Part of the area will also be used by South East Coast Ambulance Service. By bringing key blue-light services into a single location, the regeneration of NSQ will be unlocked.
The existing fire station is part of a wider NSQ site. With the emergency services relocated, a major obstacle to the redevelopment is removed.
Once complete, NSQ will deliver new homes, employment floorspace, subsidised workspace for the creative industries, a new healthcare centre, and an underground car park.
The plans will also see the completion of the flood defences for Lewes and a range of public realm improvements, including a public square, a two tier riverside promenade and extensive new cycle paths and footpaths.
Worthing Civic Centre
The Worthing Civic Centre, to the rear of Worthing Town Hall, is currently used as a council car parking.
But under plans led by Worthing Borough Council, the proposal is to turn the land into a new Civic Healthcare Hub in the town centre.
The new centre would allow four existing doctors surgeries to move to a more central location and enable greater cooperation between Adur and Worthing’s Wellbeing teams.
The proposals would see a new integrated primary and community care hub built at the site, aiming to transform the delivery of non-acute healthcare in the town.
So far £90,000 has been allocated to the project and plans are currently being developed in further detail.
Brighton General Hospital
Located in Elm Grove, at the top of Race Hill overlooking the city, Brighton General Hospital, the imposing building was formerly a workhouse.
The site has the potential to be redeveloped to include a new health and care campus, new housing and a range of community uses
Up to 200 housing units could be provided on the site.
Dyke Road Barracks, Brighton
The Army Barracks in Dyke Road, on the border of Brighton and Hove, is thought to have been built during World War Two.
It was used for a long time for the TA and is still used as a centre for reserve Army training for a number of units.
A potential redevelopment of the site could deliver a smaller territorial army barracks alongside mixed use development. This is all pending on approval from the Ministry of Defence.
Moulsecoomb Neighbourhood Hub, Brighton
Located to the north-east of the centre of Brighton, Moulsecoomb is an estate developed throughout the 20th century to accommodate a growing population. Recent years has seen the development of both the University of Sussex and University of Brighton, as well as the American Express Community Stadium.
As part of wider work to create a neighbourhood in the area, public land could be freed up with the consolidation of various local authority and NHS services. This could release some sites for affordable housing and student accommodation.
Preston Barracks, Brighton
This £150 million scheme on the Lewes Road is part of a wider regeneration project aimed at transforming a part of Brighton, off Lewes Road.
The wider proposals will deliver new employment space, new university academic buildings, student accommodation with 1,300 bedrooms, 350 quality new homes and 25,000 square feet of retail space.
The One Public Estate Programme could help the development of a primary and community healthcare hub, allowing for the release and disposal of existing publicly-owned assets.
Preston Circus Fire Station
The current building has been standing on the Preston circus junction, just north of Brighton city centre, since 1938.
The One Public Estate programme is considering options to optimise the layout of the current fire station to meet its operational uses while identifying alternative uses for the remaining areas.