Detailed plan about Newhaven Growth Quarter emerges

Detailed plans have emerged about plans for the Newhaven Growth Quarter on Denton Island.

The £2.25m scheme will include space for clean technology and marine businesses as well as an extra 16 childcare places at the nursery and flexible creche facilities at Denton Island Community Centre, allowing people to return to work after having children.

The existing catering facilities at South Down Catering College will be expanded to form a community hub to enable the businesses to support each other and work together.

Most of the funding came from the Government’s Coastal Communities Fund and represented almost ten per cent of the fund’s total allocation nationwide at an impressive £1.9m.

One of the conditions of receiving the funding was that building should be completed by April 2016, so Newhaven residents could see the extension taking shape very soon.

Lewes District Council is proposing to work with East Sussex County Council’s staff to speed up the project and deliver it on time.

Both the district council and county council are putting in the remaining funds to make the project happen.

Plans also include a ten per cent cost contingency to allow for inflation.

The managed workspaces will provide full support to start up businesses such as IT support.

A report to the district council’s cabinet said the extended enterprise centre would generate an extra £42,000 in the first year when occupancy levels were low, increasing to £123,000 a year assuming a 90 per cent occupancy rate.

Annual running costs without inflation look set to be £53,000.

There will be a deficit of about £30,000 in the first year of operation because not all the units will be occupied.

However the deficit is forecast to be fully recovered by the following year.

Over 12 years the scheme is forecast to create almost 400 jobs and generate more than £3m in business sales.

It should also create more than 50 apprentices and almost 250 non vocational trainees.

The cabinet will consider the report at its meeting at Southover House in Lewes on April 24.

The extension will be managed by Basepoint which already manages the Enterprise Centre and has experience of managing 30 other similar centres. The surplus generated will be used to employ a support officer and consultant for the centre.