The leader of Hastings Borough Council, Jeremy Burch has today put forward the key points and benefits as to why Hastings, Bexhill & Rye and the surrounding areas should be granted Assisted Area Status. Rother council leader Carl Maynard has also sent a letter out today requesting support.
We as a region have only until Friday 7th February 2014 to inform the government that we are all in favour of it. Assisted Area Status will give the town and region as a whole priority access to Government, EU grants and development funds, however, to get this it needs support and backing from local businesses and residents of the area.
Read the key point below and if you are in favour then put the details of how to let the government know that your in favour for it is below the key points.
- The proposed area includes all but two wards Hastings, which is the 19th most deprived area in England. It also includes the most deprived neighbourhoods in Rother, including Sidley ward. Therefore Assisted Area Status has the potential to benefit target areas most in need of employment-generating investment.
- The proposed area contains major sites with achievable development potential, including North-east Bexhill (off the Hastings-Bexhill Link Road currently under construction), off Queensway, Hastings and Bexhill’s existing industrial areas, and off Rye Harbour Road (Make sure you include Rye Harbour Road in your response to the consultation).
- There are also a number of smaller potential development sites for business development.
- There are genuine prospect of a total potential of over 5,000 jobs being created, with a high proportion in manufacturing, building on the strong existing base of manufacturing SME’s. This will help correct an imbalance in the local economy which has an over-reliance on public sector
- There is a strong track record of recent employment-generating development by Sea Change Sussex and others, in Hastings Town Centre and off Queensway. New businesses locating in Hastings include Saga insurance services.
- The area had Assisted area Status up to 2000, which contributed to investments by several businesses who are all still major employers. It is credited with creating today’s strong high-vacuum engineering cluster.
- Assited Area Status reinforces strong partnerships between the private sector, Borough, District and County Councils, Sea Change Sussex (the private-public partnership regeneration company) and the South East LEP. It supports the 6-point plan for regeneration agreed by the Hastings & Rother Economic Task Force which provides strategic leadership for regeneration and economic development.
As you can see it will be worth signing up for as anything that provides jobs and growth for the area is a good thing for everyone. Full details of the consultation can be found here.
You can inform the Assisted Areas Team that you are for it by letting the know via the following ways.
Email to: AssistedAreasConsultation@bis.gsi.gov.uk
Assisted Areas Team
Local Growth Directorate
4th Floor, Spur 2
Department of Business, Innovation and Skills
1 Victoria Street
There is also a form on the site, however the quickest way to lodge your views is via email and we highly recommend that you do it this way if your able to.