Sussex Business News July Roundup

The business news across Sussex this July points to some exciting developments for the region's already-healthy economy, with economic growth indicators, exciting new leisure opportunities and possible big news for the creative industries all in the press this month.

Shoreham Port eyes up a possible 25 percent expansion plan

Import and export industries are looking good at Shoreham Port, which is gearing up to grow its trade by 25 percent in the next few years. The plan was announced at a gathering of the Sussex Property Alliance, with members meeting at the port itself. A spokesperson said that the port's ambition was to invest in additional facilities such as terminal improvements and more warehousing in order to build the capacity needed to support the anticipated growth. A central part of the plan is to free up land at the western arm to develop for port expansion.

The broader plan will help to grow commercial shipping along the canal and eastern arm by optimising the use of currently underused and vacant sites. The area houses 150 businesses which together produce around £4 million of property income alone, with 100 percent occupancy for the past 8 years. The port is a key component of the south east's construction and logistics industries, transporting vast amounts of aggregate, steel and timber in particular. The expansion plans will not only bring additional trade, but will enhance local community facilities and bring broader economic benefits.

Brighton prepares for £200 million economic boost

There is further good news for the region, as Brighton's councillors have heard that the city is set to enjoy a £200 million boost over the next decade. Developers, First Base and Patron Capital, an investment fund, are working jointly to progress plans to redevelop the Edward Street Quarter. If councillors approve the detailed plans, the renovated area would bring sufficient office space to house 2,000 workers, together with nearly 170 new homes, a community space and a GP's surgery.

The partnership is planning to attract firms which employ 10-50 people as future clients, with Brighton full of smaller start-ups and SMEs that are ready to move into their 'next stage' accommodation and which are looking for affordable premises that give them a strong reason to stay in Brighton. Currently, there is limited commercial space available for such businesses and there is a risk of losing them to London and other major cities in the south. If the plans are approved, the redevelopment work will begin later this year and the new offices will be opened by the end of 2020.

The developers have noted that there have been some concerns from local residents, although businesses have been keen. The partnership has attempted to engage with local residents insofar as possible to reassure them as to the broader benefits and the balance of the plan, which aims to match citywide objectives with local requirements. One example is that the redevelopment will help to regenerate the currently deprived area of Queen's Park and provide an overall economic city-wide boost of £200 million in the coming ten years. Additionally, the project itself will create 150 new jobs in the Edward Street Quarter.

Future of Shoreham Port unveiled to Sussex Property Alliance

Property professionals based in Sussex were given a water-borne excursion of Shoreham Port where they were informed about the port’s future plans by its director of development Tim Hague. The commercial port, located on the south coast of England, manages cargo of around two million tonnes annually.

The tour was given to members of Sussex’s Property Alliance (SPA) and focused on development opportunities within the port, estate management and the possibility of investing in the generation of renewable energy. Much of the port’s future plans focus on the development of the western arm and the expansion of shipping in the eastern arm which will come about as a result.

Mr Hague said the idea was to grow trade by 25 per cent over the next couple of years by increasing capacity through investments in port facilities including terminals and warehouses. At present, Shoreham Port houses 150 companies who generate £4m in property rental annually. There is a huge desire for space within the port which has resulted in 100% occupancy throughout most of the past decade.

Quirky new cafe showcases changing tastes

Sussex is now home to its first 'cereal cafe' - previously only seen in London, but now trading in Brighton. The Brighton Cereal Cafe is located in Trafalgar Street's Cafe Trafe basement and the two owners are bringing their passion for global cereals to fellow fans. The new cafe is stocking hundreds of diverse and mouth-watering cereals from across the globe, together with their own combinations which pack in treat ingredients such as marshmallows, sweets, syrups and biscuits.

The cafe even offers a whopping 20 types of milk for the perfectly customised cereal experience, with other delicious items on the menu including rice crispy cakes, doughnuts, pop tarts and ice-creams.

Is Channel 4 heading to Sussex?

Brighton council is bidding for the city to become one of the new creative hubs for Channel 4. Brighton and Hove City Council is working with the local TV industry and the city's universities and metropolitan college to put together a bid which outline's the area's superb potential as a creative and digital centre, pointing to its existing reputation for the arts and digital innovation. The bid references the city's superb connectivity, national and international reputation and existing digital infrastructure, together with the existing talent base of thousands of highly skilled creatives.

Channel 4 is keen to reduce its London base and to reflect its audience by representing people across the UK, moving certain functions out of the Capital to the regions and the north in a similar strategy to that which the BBC has employed.