Southern ‘powerhouse’ plan to boost local economy

Cllr Dan Humphreys, leader of Worthing Borough Council
Cllr Dan Humphreys, leader of Worthing Borough Council
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The Greater Brighton region - which includes Worthing and Shoreham - should be a ‘powerhouse’ in the south, according to politicians serving the area.

That’s the idea behind the ‘Southern Accelerator’, which aims to make sure the region doesn’t miss out on investment in infrastructure, jobs, housing, new technology and growth.

Warren Morgan, the Labour leader of Brighton and Hove City Council SUS-170126-092210001

Warren Morgan, the Labour leader of Brighton and Hove City Council SUS-170126-092210001

The idea was proposed by Brighton and Hove City Council leader Warren Morgan, and is backed by Worthing Borough Council leader Daniel Humphreys.

Cllr Morgan said there is a Government focus on the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ and ‘Midlands Engine’, and he doesn’t want Greater Brighton to miss out.

The idea will go before the Greater Brighton Economic Board, which was set up in 2014 as a partnership between local authorities in Brighton and Hove, Worthing, Adur, Mid Sussex and Lewes.

The Board is also set to consider inviting Crawley and Gatwick to join the Greater Brighton region to strengthen its case for investment.

Cllr Humphreys, chairman of Greater Brighton Economic Board and Conservative leader of Worthing Borough Council, said: “The Greater Brighton Economic Board has achieved a huge amount since its formation, bringing together the key parts of the wider area to create a City Deal with the Government, lever in millions of pounds of funding and boost the region’s economy.

“It’s now time to increase our ambition and work with Government to ensure that businesses and residents in Sussex are able to keep playing their vital role in the national economy.”

The idea is to use the Southern Accelerator to attract investment in jobs, skills, transport, housing and infrastructure in the area, boosting the region’s economy.

Cllr Morgan said benefits of a successful Southern Accelerator could mean improved rail services, and roads, more housing and booming businesses.

He said: “We need to go further and faster, boosting our economic power, accelerating growth through building on current success, speeding our development of biotech, digital, engineering and other areas where we aim to compete globally, driving investment in transport and housing infrastructure, supporting further and higher education, and providing a brand within which we can bring trade and investment to the region.”

The initiative will go before the Greater Brighton Economic Board at its meeting in Worthing Town Hall on April 25.

What do you think of the Southern Accelerator idea? Let us know by commenting below.