Could new bids kick-start projects like Teville Gate?

Teville Gate. Picture by Eddie Mitchell
Teville Gate. Picture by Eddie Mitchell

MAJOR projects across Adur and Worthing could be given a financial boost to kick-start development if a series of funding bids are won.

Adur and Worthing councils are drawing up nine business cases as part of the Local Growth Fund (LGF).

These include proposals for Worthing’s Teville Gate and Union Place, A27 improvements at Lancing and a transport scheme to relieve pressure on the A259 as a result of development at Shoreham Port.

Director for the economy Martin Randall said: “It is a helping hand and a signal that we are serious about securing development.

“The industry thrives on confidence and if we can get one major scheme started and people see cranes on the horizon that really gives others significant confidence to come and invest.”

The bids are part of the council’s work with the Greater Brighton Economic Board, which brings together several local councils with business figures.

The Local Growth Fund sees authorities bid for a slice of government grants, competing against other projects in the region.

Mr Randall said many major projects required additional funding to make them viable – the focus of several of the bids.

In the case of Union Place, in Worthing town centre, funding to attract a cinema operator could help make the scheme financially viable for a developer. He said: “In a post-2008 world, it is rare, even in improving economic circumstances, that sites are viable without some additional funding to provide infrastructure.

“Union Place is the council’s preferred site for a cinema, because it would draw people into the town centre.

“You have to give the operator the money to come because they can afford to pick and choose.”

At Lancing, the key to delivering 600 homes at New Monks Farm is the delivery of a new roundabout on the A27.

Funding through the LGF could enable its delivery.

On delivering a transport package for Shoreham, Mr Randall said: “The infrastructure is in need of improvement if we are going to deliver development on the scale that we need to.

“If you put significant housing onto the sites that are available at Shoreham Port you can’t do that without impacting on the A259, which is a road which we are very aware is at or near capacity.

“We have to start thinking about investment in improvements to the road and other improvements we can influence.”

A total of £92million was allocated regionally in the first two rounds of LGF bidding but Adur and Worthing barely featured on the board’s shortlist.

This time, the area’s nine schemes makes up nearly half of the projects ‘pipeline’ agreed by the board.

The funding available will be announced in the Autumn Statement next month, with business cases being drawn up for formal bids early next year. Mr Randall said even if projects were not successful, the authority had detailed cases for other sources.

The nine bids relate to: Teville Gate, Union Place, Montague Street, Grafton Centre, Northbrook College Innovation Centre, Martletts Way, Decoy Farm, Lancing A27 and a Shoreham Harbour transport package.