March 7 2014.

Lewes District Council has successfully led a team that has been awarded £1.9 million by the Big Lottery Fund to implement an exciting new scheme that will create jobs and enhance the skills of local people. The “Newhaven Growth Quarter” initiative has been developed with a view to creating and sustaining local jobs for local people and to act as a catalyst for growing clean technologies in Newhaven and surrounding area. The scheme has been developed in partnership with Basepoint (who manage Newhaven Enterprise Centre on behalf of Lewes District Council), Sussex Downs College and Sussex Community Development Association. The result of this work has led to funding of £1.9m from the Coastal Communities Fund for Denton Island in Newhaven.

Councillor Rob Blackman, Leader of Lewes District Council said: “The total investment of £2.25 million (£1.9 million plus £150K from East Sussex County Council and £175K from Lewes District Council) will benefit and make a real difference to so many people in and around Newhaven. The Newhaven Growth Quarter scheme will create new employment opportunities and support that will help local people back into work, as well as creating a culture of enterprise for young people starting work. This is fantastic news for Newhaven and creates a real catalyst for change, offering a unique opportunity for exciting economic growth within the “Clean, Green and Marine” technologies sector, building upon the imminent arrival of the new University Technical College.”

Melanie Hunt, Principal of Sussex Downs College said: “Sussex Downs College is delighted to be a partner in this exciting project. We know that skilled people are at the heart of every successful company, and we look forward to working with new and existing businesses in Newhaven. Our Quarter Café will enable new businesses, established companies and those in training to keep in contact, and ensure we support learning and development for people in employment, as well as those preparing for work.”

Penny Shimmin, Chief Executive of Sussex Community Development Association said: “Sussex Community Development Association are delighted. The development of Denton Island will support local people to get and retain employment through employability support, self- employment support, access and advice and childcare; all of which make getting and keeping a job possible.”

There are five key construction activities that will form part of the capital works in the Newhaven Growth Quarter (NGQ) project including:

• An extension to the existing Newhaven Enterprise Centre to create new space for new and emerging businesses who specialise in the “Clean Tech” sector

• An extension to the Sussex Community Development Association’s (SCDA) nursery and crèche facilities to create additional childcare places to support parents seeking to re-enter the workplace and addressing barriers to work

• Construction of new training rooms at SCDA for the delivery of additional employability and skills training, to provide local people with new opportunities to develop their careers and business ideas

• A focal point for Newhaven Growth Quarter to be located within the Sussex Downs College campus to act as a Quarter Café and a hub for all users of NGQ and facilitate new working relationships

• The creation of an attractive “campus-style” environment for all NGQ users and build upon the existing partnership working that is in evidence.

Following the award announcement, plans are being finalised with a view to starting construction work in Autumn 2014.
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