Public property valued at over £2billion is set to be unlocked in the next five years throughout the Greater Brighton City Region, creating the potential for over 1,300 new jobs and over 1,200 new homes in the Region over the next 10 years.
The investment laying the groundwork to make this a reality comes from the Government’s One Public Estate programme - an innovation in encouraging collaboration with a place-based focus between land owning public sector bodies. Investment of £280,500 will be made into the Region in the 2016/17 financial year, with a further £316,500 due to be invested in 2017/18.
Eight key sites will now be driven forward:
Springman House, Lewes: bringing together the key blue-light services into a single location, thereby unlocking the regeneration of the North Street Quarter to deliver new homes, employment floorspace, subsidised workspace for the creative industries, a new healthcare centre, an underground car park, completion of the flood defences for Lewes and a range of public realm improvements
Worthing Civic Centre: a mixed use development incorporating a new, integrated multi-disciplinary primary and community care hub in the heart of Worthing, transforming the delivery of non-acute health care in the town
Brighton General Hospital: redevelopment of the site to include a new health and care campus, new housing and a range of community uses
Dyke Road Barracks, Brighton: potential redevelopment of the site to deliver a smaller territorial army barracks alongside mixed use development (pending MoD approval at the time of writing)
Moulsecoomb Neighbourhood Hub, Brighton: the consolidation of siloed services into a new community hub, releasing some sites for affordable housing and student accommodation.
Madeira Terrace, Brighton: reconstruction of the Terrace, including the introduction of innovative commercial and leisure uses
Preston Barracks, Brighton: development of a primary and community healthcare hub, allowing for the release and disposal of existing assets
Preston Circus Fire Station: optimising the layout to meet its operational uses and identifying alternative uses for the remaining areas
In the One Public Estate programme, land owning public bodies - such as local authorities, healthcare and emergency services - are being encouraged to use their property as a catalyst for economic growth and transforming public service delivery.
The intention is that they will achieve this through identifying surplus assets which could be made available for housing and local regeneration, co-locating their services to make better use of space and drive service improvements, and actively seeking out opportunities for joint working to improve customer experience.
In the process, each agency and authority will generate capital receipts from the sale of their identified land and property assets, creating income streams to invest directly into their communities.
Daniel Humphreys, Chairman of the Greater Brighton Economic Board and Leader of Worthing Borough Council, comments:
“I am very pleased to see our case for investment has been backed by the Government. In thinking innovatively about land and property, and by working in true partnership, we are looking at building new homes, new workspaces and community facilities, stimulating our City Region economy and supporting our growing population.
“Now that we have had the green light, the Economic Board has established a Strategic Property Board which is determined to ensure that we demonstrate our absolute commitment to following this programme through and transforming our Region.
“As Leader of Worthing Borough Council, I am delighted to see the vote of confidence in our plan to create a Civic Healthcare Hub in the heart of the town, a move which will provide new opportunities for accommodation, positively and permanently transforming the health, wellbeing and housing opportunities in the heart of Worthing.”
Councillor Warren Morgan, Leader of Brighton and Hove City Council, adds:
“This announcement is good news for Brighton and Hove, and for the wider City Region. We are demonstrating that we can think creatively and innovatively about the future of our places and public services, and how we drive economic growth that benefits everyone.
“The six sites identified in the City offer us a chance to overcome some of the obstacles we face and think differently about our plans to boost housing, employment and public services in the city.”
Councillor Andy Smith, Leader of Lewes District Council, adds:
“The investment into the Springman House site will help us to deliver our regeneration ambitions for the District, alongside our emergency service partners who are also keen to make the most of this opportunity.
“The regeneration of the North Street Quarter is key not only to delivering homes and employment space, but also to completing flood defences for the town and creating a wide range of public space improvements.”
The One Public Estate investment will fund a range of activities including programme and project management across the eight identified sites, feasibility studies and public consultations.
By 31st December, maps of all publicly owned land, together with an estimate of the value of each piece, will be published online. Further information, including details for where to find this land value information, will be made available in the next few weeks.