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Local businesses debate housing, transport, technology and the skills shortage


Coast to Capital held a ‘Big Debate’ in Reigate last week to discuss the Local Industrial Strategy (LIS) with the business community. 

The organisation is currently negotiating a Local Industrial Strategy with government which, when published, will prioritise policy and investment in the local area. This is in addition to the £300 million that Coast to Capital has already invested into a range of projects to regenerate our towns and cities. 

At the event, the audience heard that Coast to Capital has commissioned research to explore the issues and opportunities for the future of the local area. Ideas were debated by a panel of local leaders including Claire Mason, CEO - Man Bites Dog; Patrick Warner, Head of Innovation Strategy - Metrobus and Brighton & Hove Buses; Sue Baxter, Director of Innovation and Business Partnerships - University of Sussex and Chris Coopey, Partner and Practice Director - Carpenter Box. 

A number of economic concerns for the area were rased including the lack of affordable housing and business space, improving transport links across the area and preparing for 5G capabilities. Sustainable growth was identified as a key issue across the economy which should be at the heart of future investment. The panel agreed these issues could be addressed by working in close partnership, bringing businesses, universities and public sector experts together. 

Creating a great place to live and work by telling the unique story of the Coast to Capital area was also raised, alongside a challenge to create a regional brand based on the creative towns and cities in our diverse area. 

Progress with the Local Industrial Strategy will be shared at the Coast to Capital AGM on Wednesday 11 September. For more information and to register visit www.coast2capital.org.uk/AGM

For regular updates follow @coast2capital on Twitter or visit www.coast2capital.org.uk/industrial-strategy.


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