A year of progress at Newhaven Enterprise Zone (NEZ) – a major project supported by Greater Brighton – has been celebrated.
More than 60 local business owners, key local figures and partners of NEZ joined together to learn about the plans for Newhaven, a year since it gained Enterprise Zone status.
Held at the new Operations and Maintenance Base at Rampion Offshore Wind Farm, representatives from the offshore windfarm spoke about Rampion’s impressive Newhaven story. There was also a panel discussion and Q&A as the Enterprise Zone’s three strategic priorities were presented.
Covering eight sites in the town, NEZ acts as a catalyst to deliver new commercial development, new jobs and local growth opportunities that will contribute to the local development of the area.
Investment in the NEZ to date is approaching £30 million in public sector funding and private sector match combined; providing critical flood defences, improving site viability and unlocking land for development.
Corinne Day, NEZ’s Programme Director, shared her enthusiasm for the town saying: “By 2030, Newhaven Enterprise Zone will have helped deliver a new era for Newhaven. It’s a place with great potential and I’m really excited to be working with partners to bring forward good development which will make a tangible difference to the town.”
The strategic framework focusses on three priorities:
- Quality growth: To promote cohesive development which will foster pride in Newhaven, recognising the town’s location and also its working port and coastal connections.
- Sustainable growth: To deliver local skills and support for businesses which will create a diverse and prosperous economy, ensuring Newhaven residents are shared benefactors of change.
- Inclusive growth: To invest in housing and infrastructure which will attract inward investment, creating a lasting economic and social legacy for Newhaven.
Local business leaders Mike Shorer, of Mike Shorer Fine Jewellery; Duncan Kerr, of Wave Leisure; and Dick Shone, of Boutique Modern, joined the panel and spoke about their own experiences in Newhaven, why they chose to set up businesses in the town and the challenges they have faced.
Steve Allen, Chair of NEZ’s Programme Board, and Vice-chair of Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership also spoke about a new NEZ Community Fund that will be officially launched next month.
The Community Fund will be launched to give grants to community groups and small charities across Newhaven, focusing on those who help to encourage a sense of place. The first grants will be available in early 2019.
NEZ has been established as a three-way agreement between the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership, Lewes District Council and Government.