New initiative is set to turn the south-coast home of sun, sea and deck chairs into a technological force to be reckoned with
Move aside Tech City - there's a new contender in town. Brighton looks set to expand its current technological base, and we couldn't be more excited.
The Greater Brighton City Deal – announced on Tuesday - hopes to provide stiff competition to major tech clusters around the world. The £170m deal, signed by the government, leaders of local authorities and the Local Enterprise Partnership will expand the seaside city’s current technological base, providing a sunny south coast alternative to its more central predecessor, London’s Silicon Roundabout.
The proposals should ideally enable expansion from New England House - the city’s current centre for creative and digital businesses - by creating a 'Digital Exchange' where tech-based companies will collaborate to use combined buying power to obtain faster broadband at lower prices.
Not only is the City Deal set to create jobs and growth within Brighton, but neighbouring Shoreham and Newhaven look set to benefit too, by way of key regeneration and employment opportunities within the surrounding areas
“We’re giving Brighton the freedom, power and tools to be really innovative and design whole new ways of building a stronger economy and fairer society,” said deputy prime minister Nick Clegg. "This City Deal puts power in the hands of local people who know best what skills are needed in the area to give it a real chance of changing the fortunes of thousands of people in and around Brighton.“
Brighton is currently home to around 1,500 tech companies and the City Deal will also focus on increasing the city’s contribution to national economic growth as a result.
Commenting on the city's tech cluster, Greg Clark, minister for cities, said: “It’s already making a huge impact on Brighton’s economic performance, and this City Deal will help accelerate its growth by ensuring that it can provide the space and infrastructure for high-value creative-technological businesses to grow.”
The £170m of investment will comprise of £6.7m from central government, £9.8m from the local public sector and in excess of £155m by way of private investment.
If it all pays off, it could spark the beginning of something very special for Brightonians and Britain as a whole.