Crawley Borough Council has accepted an invitation to join the Greater Brighton Economic Board.
The council agreed to join the board, whose purpose is to bring about sustainable economic development and growth across Greater Brighton (the City Region) at the meeting of the Full Council last night (Wednesday 18 October).
The board, which was founded in April 2014 as part of the Greater Brighton City region’s City Deal with Government, has also invited Gatwick Airport Limited to join the board.
Joining the board will enable the council to work alongside Brighton and Hove, Gatwick Airport Limited and the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and other partners to support the economic growth benefits of the Gatwick Diamond and M23/A23 corridor to London, which creates key strategic links between Crawley, the Gatwick Diamond and Brighton and Hove.
This agreement also brings together two of the LEP’s economic ‘power houses’. Crawley and Brighton and Hove generate more than £11bn gross value added of economic output per year and the geographical area covered by the Greater Brighton Economic Board represents almost 811,000 people.
The council will be able to work jointly on strategic priorities including:
• Making the economic case for continued investment in infrastructure, with an immediate focus on influencing and securing investment in the Brighton Main Line
• Developing a proactive inward investment and trade strategy to attract foreign investment, businesses and jobs, working with the Department for International Trade, the LEP and West Sussex County Council
• Building a stronger strategic level influence with central government to push, alongside West Sussex County Council and the LEP, for transport infrastructure improvements to the “M23 corridor” and the Gatwick Diamond
• Supporting the work being done on the West Sussex and Greater Brighton Local Strategic Statement 3, which will deliver a spatial framework that brings together the housing and employment space needed over the next 10 years linked to the long-term strategic infrastructure and other transport plans.
The deal also offers potential to renew and strengthen links with the University of Sussex and the University of Brighton as well as the area’s burgeoning creative and digital design industries, complementing Crawley College’s priorities and enabling the development of much stronger links with the town’s major business community and the building of new commercial relationships to stimulate job creation and growth.
Councillor Peter Lamb, Leader of Crawley Borough Council, said: “The only way we will overcome significant challenges like the Brighton Main Line is by working together.
“This partnership also gives us the opportunity to put our economic development programme on turbo.”
Councillor Peter Smith, Cabinet member for Planning and Economic Development, said: “The Greater Brighton Economic Board’s purpose to bring about sustainable economic development and growth mirrors our own and brings together two of the biggest economies in the area.
“The agreement will allow us to work with the board to develop strategic priorities that benefit Crawley.”
For more information on the Greater Brighton Economic Board visit http://www.greaterbrighton.com