Can Brighton be a serious contender?
A deal has been agreed for Greater Brighton to create “Silicon Beach”
We have all heard the phrase “Silicon Beach” over the last few months and this deal seems to secure the fact that Brighton is now a serious contender in the world of business start-ups and innovation.
The deal, which was signed by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Cities Minister Greg Clark, is expected to unlock £173m in investment.
It has been estimated that 8,500 jobs and £361m in gross value will be added to the city-region economy – this can’t be a bad thing can it? This growth and investment is a great opportunity for the city to show that it is not to be messed with and the tag “London by the Sea” is something to be proud off, however the City needs to ensure that it puts in place sufficient infrastructure, otherwise the residents of Greater Brighton could suffer from the City’s success.
The deal will see £24.5m spent on expanding New England House, making it a major contender for creative and digital businesses and with Wired Sussex and Pure360 already residents, the success of this investment is well on the way.
To ensure the success of these start-up businesses a £1.8m integrated business support programme will be launched across the city and the winder Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership areas. This will provide grants to businesses currently struggling to access finance – here at Plus Accounting we recently ran a very successful workshop on Alternative Finance and discussed Crowd Funding in great detail. We also recently met with Fuse Three Finance – a company run by entrepreneurs and finance experts helping businesses fund for the future; they are aware of the potential of “Silicon Beach”.
The deal will also expand to areas such as Shoreham and Newhaven who will receive vital funds for regeneration work on their flood defences. In Shoreham, an Environmental Technologies Growth Centre could be built and in Newhaven a Clean Tech Growth Centre – both of which will sit alongside current investment & development projects.
Councillor Jason Kitcat, leader of Brighton & Hove City Council, said: “The Greater Brighton City Deal is just the beginning of a collaborative approach which will see the city and the surrounding region reach its potential. The ambition and commitment which have brought the City Deal to fruition will also mean we can bring more jobs and better housing, better infrastructure and a more vibrant regional long-term economy. This is the beginning of an exciting journey towards developing more powers and responsibilities to our city-region”.
This is an exciting time for Brighton, especially after the recent recessionary years, businesses and residents are slowly seeing a positive change and due to Brighton’s strong community spirit and resilience the City Deal is being observed with great interest.
Author, Vicky King, Marketing Manager