A vibrant and confident Newhaven

Newhaven is a vibrant place to be - Picture by Darren Cool
Newhaven is a vibrant place to be - Picture by Darren Cool

Newhaven has experienced mixed fortunes over the years but is a vibrant and increasingly confident place.

Newhaven has experienced mixed fortunes over the years but is a vibrant and increasingly confident place. Many newcomers (sometimes referred to locally as AFBs – ‘across from Brighton’) are sometimes surprised to find such a lively and supportive community.

The establishment of the Newhaven Enterprise Zone (NEZ), a collaboration between Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership and Lewes District Council, is set to boost the town further, aiming to attract new businesses into the town to new and existing commercial spaces, creating an estimated 2,000 jobs over the next 25 years.

In partnership with Sussex Community Foundation, the NEZ has launched the Newhaven EZ Community Fund that is offering £25,000 in grants to support local charities and non-profit organisations. The new fund was launched at Newhaven’s Festival of Belonging last month at Newhaven Fort, where local people were asked what they would do for Newhaven with a £5,000 community grant.

From a community fishing day followed by community beach barbecue to new benches in the town centre and safe spaces for LGBTQ teenagers, the ideas flowed thick and fast – in exchange for free locally produced Boho Gelato ice-cream!

An example of one of our recently awarded grants given in Newhaven was to Association Cybèle that organises diep~haven, an annual cross-channel arts festival, focused around Newhaven and Dieppe.

The group received a £4,700 grant from Rampion Fund to support an artist-led education project and exhibition with local school groups in Newhaven. Children’s solargraphs, produced with long exposure pin-hole cameras made from recycled drinks cans were exhibited at the Southease YHA, Bishopstone Railway Station and across the Southern Rail network over the summer, themed around the relationships between humans and landscape.

Another grant recipient is Newhaven Young People's Forum, a group of young volunteers who advocate on behalf of all Newhaven youngsters. They received a £4,869 grant from the national #iwill Fund to develop a website and magazine to share information with other young people in Newhaven, increase participation and to fund a part-time youth worker.

NEZ programme director, Corinne Day, said: “There is a renewed energy in Newhaven and it is great to be able to discuss with local residents how we are all to be a part of that change. We are delighted to launch this community fund and look forward to seeing it contribute to Newhaven’s bright future.” Corinne is pictured here with local people at the launch.

Applications to the new fund must benefit Newhaven and should help to encourage a sense of place and build on the thriving community in the town. The annual pot of £25,000 is expected to increase over the coming years. Applications are now open for grants of up to £5,000 and the deadline for applications is 11th January 2019. For information about the Fund, visit www.sussexgiving.org.uk/newhavenEZ