Tag Archives: Business

Bid to make Brighton seafront a year-round attraction

From The Argus

Brighton seafront from the air

Brighton seafront from the air

A bid to revitalise parts of Brighton and Hove’s aged seafront could get a £24 million funding boost amid a new plan to make it an all year round attraction.

Brighton and Hove City Council has received positive funding news on plans for a new conference centre and arena at Black Rock and the renovation of Madeira Terraces and has also made a five-year improvement plan.

If successful, the bids will add to what Brighton and Hove City Council believes is the biggest programme of seafront investment anywhere in the country to move it away from a seasonal to a year-round visitor attraction.

The news comes 18 months after The Argus launched the Seafront 2020 campaign calling for an ambitious long-term vision for our county’s precious seafront.

One of our most pressing points calling for a five-year plan has now been met in Brighton and Hove with the recent publication of the Seafront Investment Plan 2016-2021.

The extensive report, produced with engineering consultants Mott MacDonald, outlines timelines for major seafront projects already in the pipeline as well as outlining an aspiration to complete the £100 million renovation of seafront arches west of Brighton Palace Pier.

It states: “Much of the coastal city’s visitor offer has been seasonal in the past, reducing the strength of this sector’s contribution to the economy. Development needs to ensure year-round utilisation of the seafront’s offer.

The report adds: “Proposals should support the year-round sport, leisure and cultural role of the seafront for residents and visitors whilst complementing its outstanding historic setting and natural landscape value.

Regarding Madeira Drive the report states the council and partners are working together to “create a year-round usable space that extends the total footfall along the seafront right through to the Marina.”

The report also explores how major projects could be funded with the authority “actively considering” borrowing against forecast business rates growth at an expanded Churchill Square to subsidise the cost of the Black Rock Arena.

Also explored is a possible supplement to business rates which could raise around £2 million a year though the report is quick to stress there are no current plans to bring this in.

Council leader Warren Morgan said: “The Seafront Investment Plan details our vision of how the whole seafront can be improved, the options for funding it and the challenges to be overcome.

“Madeira Terraces is a complex, long-term project but we will stick with it.

“It’s not possible anyway to start immediately because we have so much other regeneration work happening on the seafront.

“Progress is being made towards agreeing the conditional land agreement with Standard Life Investments for the £540 million Brighton Waterfront and we’re aiming to reach this milestone in the coming months.”

One of those major projects is the proposal to create 50 glass-fronted pods to nestle in the restored Madeira Terrace. The council has recently learnt its £4 million bid is through the first round of the Coastal Communities Fund.

The council also hopes to learn whether it has been successful in its £20 million for Local Growth Deal funding for the new centre at Black Rock.

The project was one of six Sussex projects shortlisted which could eventually bring a combined private sector investment of £745 million delivering almost 10,000 jobs, 600 homes and 300,000 sqm of employment space.

Chancellor Philip Hammond will unveil which projects have been successful in his autumn statement next month.

Click here for the full story.

Preston Park Hotel to be converted into flats

Preston Park Hotel

Preston Park Hotel

Brighton & Hove City Council has approved the plans after the owner said he could no longer compete with cut-price chains like Travelodge.

The planning committee unanimously agreed the building could be turned into 22 flats, nine of which will be affordable, and 23 parking spaces.

Directors at the hotel said the 34-bed venue is currently trading with “unsustainable” annual losses of up to £103,365 and has required capital injections of more than £53,000 per year continue trading.

‘Under-used’ retail park to get £6 million boost and new ALDI store

From The Argus

The Pavilion Retail Park in Lewes Road is set for a £6 million makeover.

The Pavilion Retail Park in Lewes Road is set for a £6 million makeover.

A Supermarket giant is hoping to add its third store in the city as part of £6 million refurbishment plans for an under-used retail park.

German retailer ALDI is looking to open a new store on the Pavilion Retail Park in Lewes Road, Brighton. The move is part of a £6 million expansion by retail park owners Aviva Investors which will include the construction of a new café.

Councillors have welcomed the news to breathe new life into the struggling retail park where half of the units are currently vacant. The overhaul will begin with the refurbishment of the B&Q store set to start shortly and expected to be completed early next year.

A planning application for the unit expansion for Aldi and a coffee shop is set to be submitted within months with the possibility new tenants could be trading at some point next year. The investment is designed to revive the retail park which has been hit in recent years by the closure of Comet and Benson for Beds.

ALDI said its new store would have a “modest” 1,100 square metres of sales area, less than half the size of the nearby Sainsbury’s, but would create up to 50 new jobs with the company looking to recruit locally. The new store will be in addition to ALDI’s existing supermarkets in London Road and Carlton Terrace.

Councillor Tracey Hill, who represents the Hollingdean and Stanmer ward, said: “I’m pleased that Aldi are asking local residents for their views and would be interested in knowing what comes back from that. The retail park has been under-used for a while. All the comments I have heard so far have been positive, people are saying it would improve the area and help local people with low cost food. It shouldn’t be a threat to Sainsbury’s as it’s only half the size.”

An ALDI spokeswoman said: “We are delighted to be progressing plans for a new ALDI in Brighton, to make it easier for local people to shop and save. We are encouraging local people to let us know their thoughts on the plans over coming weeks and after reviewing their comments we will finalise the application and submit an application to the council.

“If the plans are approved, we are keen to open the store as soon as possible so local people can start working and shopping at ALDI.”

Feedback on the plans can be submitted before Friday September 23 by emailing aldibrighton@planningpotential.co.uk.

Businesses vote to invest millions in Brighton

From Brighton Business

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Brighton city centre to benefit from £1.8m of investment over the next 5 years as businesses vote to renew the Business Improvement District [BID].

During March, businesses have been voting to see whether they wish to continue investing over £1.8m in a range of projects designed to make Brighton city centre a thriving, safe, clean and vibrant place to be for the next five years. The final result of an independent referendum has now been counted and verified by Electoral Reform Services and shows 74% of business in favour by vote, representing 68% by rateable value.

This means that the renewal of the current Business Improvement District [trading as Brilliant Brighton], has been successful and the new Business Plan will commence delivery on 1st July 2016 [the day after the current BID expires] for a five year term until 30th June 2021.

The projects include; the city centre Christmas lights displays, the City Centre Ambassador service, an evening security support function and the return of banners, bunting and hanging baskets to city centre streets from July to September. On top of that, the Brilliant Brighton website will be developed along with the @brillbrighton twitter feeds and other social media platforms to keep members of the public up to date with all the best deals, special offers and news from the city centre. There is also a range of additional benefits designed to help support the 517 unique businesses that make up the retailers, bars, café’s, restaurants and clubs in the city centre.

Gavin Stewart, BID Manager said, “This is a great vote of confidence from the BID business community in Brighton City Centre. For the last five years, we have been working hard to deliver a range of projects that help support the trading environment for our businesses”.

“In turn, we’ve proposed a new business plan that reduces the amount more than 50% of the businesses in the area are asked to contribute, while simultaneously delivering more projects than we have in the past. We are all looking forward to the next five years in helping to create a vibrant city centre that everyone can enjoy.”

For more information on Brilliant Brighton visit www.brilliantbrighton.com

BRIGHTON BID SECOND RENEWAL RESULTS 2016

Positive by votes 74%

Positive by rateable value 68%

Turnout 39%

Brighton and Hove becoming an ‘industrial desert’

From The Argus

Brighton and Hove is becoming an “industrial desert” with the shortage of warehouse space forcing companies to abandon the city.

The shortage of vacant light industrial and warehouse space is reaching crisis point, making it difficult for companies to expand or attract business, property consultants Stiles Harold Williams has warned.

Factors include brownfield development going for residential or other uses, and virtually no new warehouse or light industrial schemes over the last ten years.

The levels of rent for a modern unit of up to 2,500–3,000 sq. ft. has increased to double figures per square foot, forcing up industrial and warehouse rents across the city.

There are no suitable sites for expansion, particularly in the range of 30,000 sq. ft. up to 60,000 sq. ft.

Potential buildings and sites are available in Burgess Hill, Lewes, Shoreham and Newhaven – but relocating a significant number of companies and workers is not always feasible or beneficial.

A strong demand for freehold units in the city is met with an almost non-existent supply, which has pushed up freehold prices as and when these units become available.

A combination of circumstances has put a brake upon expansion within Brighton and Hove, putting added pressure on tourism, retail and the services sector to create jobs.

David Martin, partner for Stiles Harold Williams said: “The city is fast becoming an industrial desert with limited opportunities on the horizon.

“Stiles Harold Williams are currently undertaking a search for developer clients for two-to-five acre sites within the city with the developers keen to construct new speculative schemes to cater for the under supply of modern units of varying sizes on a freehold or leasehold basis.

“This is an opportune time for land owners and developers to combine in order to protect the industrial future of the city.”

Brighton to benefit from high street regeneration programme

From Brighton Business

Brighton has been announced as one of the latest towns across the UK to receive support from some of the UK’s biggest brands including: EE, Exterion Media, Greggs, Boots UK, the Co-operative Group, Marks & Spencer and Santander to support the transformation of UK High Streets.

Business in the Community’s Healthy High Streets programme aims to increase footfall by 10%, reduce the number of vacant properties by 20% and stimulate the creation of new jobs in 100 towns over three years.

The programme launched in June 2014 and is backed by some of the UK’s biggest high street brands – founding partners Boots UK, the Co-operative Group, Marks & Spencer and Santander and new partners EE, Exterion Media and Greggs. Brighton is one of 34 new High Streets selected for the programme across the UK today, bringing the total number of participating High Streets to 67.

It will receive a bespoke package of support, including access to skills and expertise, and dedicated High Street Champions from supporting businesses who will work together with the local partnership team, local authority and relevant local partners to devise an action plan to address the specific challenges facing the town. The final 33 towns will be announced next year. In one year, the programme has brought support and resources worth £9 million from its corporate partners into 33 UK high streets. Commenting on the programme’s expansion, Robin Foale, Managing Director, Santander Business Banking, and chair of the Healthy High Streets programme said “Congratulations to Brighton on being chosen to be part of the Healthy High Streets programme. This is a great opportunity to work with the business partners and the local High Street Champions to transform the town and create a thriving, vibrant centre for the local community.”

Business in the Community’s Peter Donohoe said: “One of the most powerful ways for business to make an impact in communities is by creating high streets that are vibrant places to live, work and do business. It has been heartening to see first-hand the practical difference that collaborative, business-led action can make on UK high streets in just one year. While there is much be proud of about our High Streets Programme we also know that there is more work to be done. We warmly welcome Greggs, EE and Exterion Media as programme partners and look forward to working with Brighton to create lasting change.”

Gavin Stewart, Manager of the Business Improvement District, who applied to the proramme, said, “It’s fantastic news that BITC has selected us to work with this year.  We are all very aspirational for the city to succeed, so it’s great that we will be able to benefit from the expertise of some of the UK’s most iconic businesses.”

To find out more about Business in the Community’s high streets work visit www.bitc.org.uk/healthyhighstreets.

Rose Hill Tavern back on sale

From The Argus

Regulars take part in an earlier protest to keep the Rose Hill Tavern open

Regulars take part in an earlier protest to keep the Rose Hill Tavern open

A PUB is up for sale again after plans to convert it into flats were rejected.

Campaigners could now have the chance to buy the Rose Hill Tavern and keep it as a pub after the latest development fell through.

Owner Joanne Harris, of Evenden Estates, told The Argus she was selling up after Brighton and Hove city councillors threw out her request to transform it into two three-bedroom flats.

She bought the pub, in Rose Hill Terrace, Brighton, from Enterprise Inns which closed it in May 2014 after branding the business unviable.

It means campaigners keen on protecting the building – like the Rose Hill Tavern Action Group – can register their interest to buy with the council. But it leaves the property open to be snapped up by other developers with fresh ideas for the site.

Ms Harris said she was frustrated with the council’s decision but had no issue if campaigners wanted to buy the property.

She said: “The councillors went against the officer’s recommendations on our application. I have decided to sell because our plans were rejected but I don’t believe that will affect the price.

“If the campaigners can raise the funds I don’t have a problem with it. But last time it was on the market no one was interested in it as a pub.

“If it was valued by the community it wouldn’t have been failing before as a pub.”

She said an agent for the sale had not yet been confirmed.

Action group member Richard James said: “It is very feasible to raise funds by the community and purchase it. The community has a right to bid but not a right to buy. It can be sold to whoever Evenden wants to sell to.”

He previously said the council decision showed how elected members cared for their community.

Others in favour of changing the use of the building argued ten pubs were in walking distance of the local. They claim new owners may not be able to make it a thriving venture.

More than 700 people signed a petition to save the pub.

History of Rose Hill and Round Hill

The Rose Hill Tavern, in Rose Hill, Brighton, is more than 100 years old. It opened in 1870 and has a distinctive design with stained-glass windows.

It is one of a handful of pubs in Brighton with a green tile frontage which represents United Ales and Stout.

The pub was the second property in Brighton and Hove, after Saltdean Lido, to be added to the council’s assets of community value list.

The pub sits in the inner suburban area of Brighton known as Round Hill.

Round Hill itself was developed mostly in the late 19th century and quickly became a desirable middle-class suburb.