Warren Morgan: Business is booming in Brighton and beyond

Warren Morgan, Labour leader of Brighton and Hove City Council
Warren Morgan, Labour leader of Brighton and Hove City Council

This week I was down at Black Rock filming an interview for the council’s website about the £12 million funding we have secured from government which will lay the foundations for our Waterfront project.

It will see the building of a new conference and entertainments arena, one that will replace the Brighton Centre and put us in the premier league of UK conference venue cities.

It is part of the near half a billion pound scheme we are close to securing with Standard Life Investments, which will extend Churchill Square to the seafront and West Street.

The benefits from the two parts of this project in terms of jobs will be immense; the benefits from additional business rates critical to funding some of our local public services.

Work began this week on the new Hanningtons Lane, revealing the historic Puget’s Cottage and adding to our unique and picturesque Lanes area.

It is fantastic that Redevco is investing millions into the former Hanningtons site, meaning North Street will once again be revived as one of our main retail destinations as it prepares to welcome John Lewis at the Clock Tower.

Further afield, news that IKEA is finally coming to Greater Brighton will be welcomed by many, and the efforts of Martin Perry and the Albion in securing that deal on their land at New Monks Farm are to be applauded just as much as their success on the pitch.

It’s a huge economic boost for our city region.

IKEA is a Foundation Living Wage employer and alongside the other retail and tourism jobs being created, it helps grow a jobs market with apprenticeships, secure full-time contracts, proper levels of pay and career prospects for all.

In an uncertain world and in the face of funding cuts, the appeal of our visitor and retail economy, and the strength of our city and its region as a place to invest, do business and provide good jobs are more important than ever.

Brighton and Hove is open for business.

Councillor Warran Morgan is the Labour leader of Brighton and Hove Council