Today we are launching a vision for a ‘Southern Accelerator’ to drive growth in the local economy (April 14). This innovative idea for our area will run along the same lines as the Northern Powerhouse and Midlands Engine initiatives.
The term ‘Southern Accelerator’, which I proposed, will be put to the Greater Brighton Economic Board as part of its response to the consultation on the Government’s ‘Building Our Industrial Strategy’ Green Paper.
Recent Government announcements have demonstrated a continuing use of and investment in the Northern Powerhouse and Midlands Engine. While without doubt those areas are in need of regeneration in a way that the whole of the South East is not, we should not be excluded from investment in infrastructure, jobs, housing, new technology and growth.
The Greater Brighton Economic Board covers the city region of Brighton and Hove, Adur, Worthing, Lewes and Mid Sussex. It was set up in 2014 to protect and grow the local economy, by formulating economic policy and co-ordinating economic activities and investments at a regional level.
That is why we are proposing the creation of the ‘Southern Accelerator’ as an over-arching vision for the region.
We need to go further and faster, boosting our economic power, accelerating growth through building on current success, speeding our development of biotech, digital, engineering and other areas where we aim to compete globally, driving investment in transport and housing infrastructure, supporting further and higher education, and providing a brand within which we can bring trade and investment to the region.
I’m pleased that Cllr Daniel Humphreys, chairman of Greater Brighton Economic Board and leader of Worthing Borough Council, the other Greater Brighton leaders and I have been able to develop and grow our successful partnership across the political divide and across the city region for the benefit of all our residents.
The Southern Accelerator, alongside the potential expansion of Greater Brighton, will be the next step.
Cllr Warren Morgan is the Labour leader of Brighton & Hove City Council.