'COAST TO CAPITAL FORUM' FOCUSES ON GROWTH

27 March 2013

The Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership hosted representatives from more than sixty local businesses and public sector organisations at its latest Forum event, held in Fontwell on 14th March 2013.

The Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership hosted representatives from more than sixty local businesses and public sector organisations at its latest Forum event, held in Fontwell on 14th March 2013.  Held every six months, the Forum provides an opportunity for the LEP to consult widely with public, private and third sector organisations and businesses from West Sussex, Brighton, Croydon and the Gatwick Diamond areas.

Tasked by Government to develop a Local Strategic Plan, the Coast to Capital LEP used the event to introduce a growth strategy and to ensure that Forum members are involved in its design.  The growth plan will enable Coast to Capital LEP to access a further £250K funding from Government over the next two years and may lead to the ability to bid for finance from the Government’s ‘Single Pot fund’ to invest in the region’s transport, housing and skills. 

The requirement for the LEP to produce a robust and wide reaching growth strategy was reinforced by Vince Cable, the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills when he recently attended a Coast to Capital Board Meeting.  He confirmed that the new plans need to reflect national priorities whilst balancing local needs over the next four years. 

John Peel, Chairman of Coast to Capital LEP said at the Forum: “We want to keep jobs growth as our unifying goal. Our aim is to create 100,000 new private sector jobs by 2035.  However, our new plan has to cover all the issues which contribute or restrain growth.”  

Also speaking at the event, Ron Crank, Chief Executive of Coast to Capital called for input from the wider business community, local authorities and civic society. He said: “We will widely consult with all partners to ensure the resulting plan offers clear analysis and evidence behind our requests for additional financial support.  The Growth Plan needs to offer robust fresh thinking and innovative new ideas to stand a chance of successfully competing for this finance against the other UK regions.”  

Following the current consultation stage, the Coast to Capital LEP will prepare a formal draft Strategic Growth document for comment from late summer, with a view to submitting the final version to Government in the Autumn.

 
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