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December 5 2011.

Lewes District Council Press Release:

A meeting took place on Friday December 2 to look at the future of Newhaven. The meeting arranged by Norman Baker MP included Cllr Carl Maynard, Lead Member for Economy, Transport and Environment at East Sussex County Council, Cllr Tony Nicholson, Leader of Lewes District Council, Cllr Judith Ost, Leader of Newhaven Town Council, Mr Patrick Jeanne, Vice President of the General Council of Seine-Maritime and Chairman of Newhaven Port and Properties and Sebastien Jumel Mayor of Dieppe and Vice-President of the General Council of Seine-Maritime.

All parties agreed that the port is of great importance to the future development of Newhaven, a key trading and tourism link between Sussex and Normandy and the most direct route from London to Western France, Spain and Portugal for both freight and passengers. Furthermore the port's plans to support low carbon business could bring much needed jobs to the area.

The meeting discussed the ongoing investment in the port and how all parties could work together to support NPP's plans as part of the wider regeneration of Newhaven. NPP has developed a masterplan for the port which focuses on job creation in the marine, low carbon and tourism sectors and investment in infrastructure to enable them to service the construction and operation of E-On's Rampion off shore wind farm. It was agreed that all parties will work together to:

· Maintain and promote traffic on the Newhaven-Dieppe ferry route by improving facilities for passengers and freight

· Invest in infrastructure to establish a clean technology and renewable energy business cluster, building on the success of existing local businesses and the opportunities available in servicing offshore wind development

· Increase the volume of international trade through the port with a focus on renewable energy supplies such as biomass

· Invest in infrastructure for the continued development of the fishing and leisure marine sectors and improve facilities for residents.

· Enhance the natural marine environment by establishing a public access conservation area on port owned land

All parties made a commitment to work together to do all they can to promote the port to E-On as the location for construction and operation of the Rampion offshore wind farm. They also agreed to implement a joint and integrated marketing strategy for Dieppe/Newhaven increasing awareness of the ferry route.

Norman Baker, MP said, "This was a very useful meeting with all the key players here from both sides of the Channel. We have strong agreement on a way forward across borders, councils and different parties. We now have a clear way forward with Newhaven centre stage."

Tony Nicholson, Leader of Lewes District Council said, "Lewes District Council has prioritised regeneration of Newhaven and we will support NPP in its drive to win business for Newhaven which will create jobs for local people".

Cllr Carl Maynard, Lead Member for Economy, Transport and Environment said, "We are committed to the regeneration of Newhaven and will continue to play a key role in delivering the transport infrastructure of Newhaven."

Cllr Judith Ost, Leader of Newhaven Town Council said, "The discussion today was very positive and constructive. It is clear that all partners - both sides of the Channel - are determined to achieve the regeneration of the port as part of the regeneration of the town and we look forward to working constructively together with them."

Sebastien Jumel, Mayor of Dieppe underlined the importance of developing Newhaven Port in order to strengthen the Transmanche link. He was pleased to see the overall objectives of the port masterplan presented by NPP and was delighted by the "sacred union" of different local authorities in support of it. Finally, he asked for this political support to form part of a formal commitment aimed at the long term sustainability of the scheme.

Monsieur Patrick Jeanne, Vice President of the General Council of Seine-Maritime and Chairman of NPP appreciated the support of all present and welcomed the opportunity to work together. He said "It demonstrates the necessity to get firm commitments from the Councils represented in order that the development of the port of Newhaven becomes a concrete reality for the people of the area."

Well - there you have it. Re-hashed empty promises or a genuine desire and plan to improve the future of Newhaven ? Let us know your thoughts at