Coast to Capital Newsletter - June 2020
Published: 16 Jun 2020
A statement from our CEO: COVID-19 Recovery
Our Chief Executive, Jonathan Sharrock explains the leading role that we are taking to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and our plans for the recovery of the economy in this statement.
“Going forward, we will play a leading role across our area to strategically determine the local economic priorities and undertake activities to drive economic recovery. We are taking steps to mitigate the impact of COVID-19, as well as moving towards recovery planning for the economy.
A major part of this is the development of our Local Industrial Strategy (LIS), where we are updating our understanding of the region’s economy to fully assess the impacts of Coronavirus on the Coast to Capital economy, to create an economic recovery plan alongside our partners.”
Supporting the Croydon Area Remodelling Scheme (CARS)
With the launch of the second round of public consultation on the Croydon Area Remodelling Scheme, Network Rail have taken innovative steps to ensure the consultation is accessible to all passengers and members of the public along the Brighton Main Line. The railway in the Croydon area is the among the busiest, most congested and most complex anywhere in the country, with 30 per cent more trains and passengers travelling through it each day than King’s Cross and Euston stations combined. Despite the current reduction in passengers travelling, Network Rail believes the vast majority of the 300,000 passengers who travel on the line each day will return. You can support the scheme by responding to the consultation and sharing news of the consultation with your networks. For more information please visit the CARS website
Economy Watch blog series
Over the past month, we have been regularly updating our ‘Economy Watch’ blog series. The series covers a number of topics, highlighting the most vulnerable areas of our local economy and emerging themes as we start to focus on recovery including:
- Airport-based economies have been profoundly affected and we are taking action to restart it
- Over half of Sussex Small Businesses have seen revenue reduce by over 50% by Coronovirus Pandemic
- The impact of COVID-19 touches so many aspects of transport in our region
- Amanda Jones - Renewing our future through the power of our past
Backing Business Grants fund
We are pleased to have been able to help over 100 small businesses in our area mitigate the impact of COVID-19 by adapting, innovating or evolving their businesses. The £2 million Backing Business Grant Fund has supported businesses such as:
In Steyning, The Sussex Produce Company were awarded £16,207 to evolve the business to allow for deliveries and invest in a website.
In Hove, Body Happy Ltd were awarded £21,600 to help set up remote training sessions.
In Leatherhead, Richard Rogers Conservations were awarded £18,581 towards equipment and software which will allow products to be purchased online through a bespoke website.
The fund has now closed, however, businesses are still able to complete an Expression of Interest form in the case that future funding becomes available.
Business Recovery Support Sessions
Our Growth Hub Relationship Managers, Growth Champions and network of experts are available to provide free one hour 1-2-1 advice on business support topics for implementing recovery plans and returning back to work after COVID-19. Simply complete our Request Form including any topic you wish to discuss and we will organize your advice session.
Gatwick Airport station transformation on target
We contributed £10 million Local Growth Funding towards Gatwick Airport station where transformation began this month thanks to innovative ways of working within COVID-19 social distancing safeguards. The station is a vital part of airport infrastructure and the economy once people start to travel again. When the upgraded station opens in 2023, there will be wider platforms and improved step-free access, five new lifts and eight new escalators. Works will double the concourse area, which will make journeys from the train to the plane much easier.
Hundreds of pupils take part in lockdown careers advice
More than 500 Year 10 pupils in Brighton took part in a series of online careers sessions last month, as part of a radical new approach to careers coming out of Brighton’s ‘Cities of Learning’ initiative. Patcham High and Varndean School in Brighton, working with ‘Cities of Learning’, managed to rapidly convene a solution by using the schools’ parents’ networks and local lead partner organisation Future Creators to create an engaging remote industry insights careers fair.
Subscribe to business updates
We are issuing a regular Growth Hub Business Support Newsletter, highlighting the latest resources, support and events available to businesses across the region. Sign up here for future updates. We continue to update the Growth Hub Portal and Twitter page with links to partner support and government information.