Bexhill industrial scheme gets funding green light

Posted on July 14, 2021

Following the recent appeal which gave planning consent for the Bexhill Enterprise Park North industrial scheme, the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) has now confirmed funding for the project – giving it a green light to move forward.

We will undertake initial enabling works – comprising development of an access road and utilities – before developer Westcott Leach begins developing 84,000 sq ft of light industrial floorspace on the site. The scheme (illustrated below) should be capable of supporting up to 500 jobs.

 

The project’s status was reviewed at the SELEP Accountability Board meeting on Friday 2 July, with SELEP deciding that the funding needed for the enabling works would now been given to us.

The minutes of the meeting say that SELEP: “Resolved to note that planning permission has now been granted for the Bexhill Enterprise Park North project, which satisfies the LGF [Local Growth Fund] conditions attached to the Project.”

In a report prepared for the meeting, Helen Dyer, SELEP’s Capital Programme Manager, said:

“The Board [previously] agreed that the remaining £1.5M LGF allocated to the Project should be transferred to East Sussex County Council as a ring-fenced grant.

“Subsequent to the decision by the Planning Inspectorate to award planning consent [to the project], East Sussex County Council are taking steps to enter into a back-to-back LGF grant agreement with Sea Change Sussex. Completion of this agreement will allow the funding to be issued to Sea Change Sussex to support delivery of the required enabling works.

“The enabling works will be fully funded through the LGF allocation and … The employment workspace will be funded through private sector investment.”

The full report, titled ‘Local Growth Fund: update on fulfilment of funding conditions’, can be found from page 55 onwards here.

Helen Dyer presented a summary of this report at the Accountability Board meeting – see this video recording from 27 minutes in.

Councillor Keith Glazier, Leader of East Sussex County Council, underlined his support for her update, adding:

“It’s a very clear definition of what’s gone on and the reasons behind some of these, so I’m pleased we’ve got this report before us this morning.”

Reflecting on the decisions taken in the meeting, John Shaw, Chief Executive of Sea Change Sussex, comments:

“Confirmation of funding for the Bexhill industrial scheme’s enabling works is another vital milestone, following the Planning Inspector’s decision that the scheme should go ahead.

“We’re grateful for the support for the project expressed in the SELEP meeting by both SELEP and Councillor Glazier. And we’re working as quickly as possible with the County Council team to conclude the grant agreement so we can get started.”