Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership invited 125 business figures to its forum at Worthing College last Wednesday.
With key speakers including London Eye Company joint founder David Marks and Trevor Beattie, from the South Downs National Park Authority, innovation was the key theme for the gathering.
Chief executive Ron Crank said the organisation had come ‘a long way’ since its inception in 2011.
He said: “Since we embarked on our journey in 2011, Coast to Capital has come a long way.
“This is highlighted by the Government’s decision to invest £202 million across our region for housing, flood defences, transport infrastructure and business support.
“Here we are today with a clear vision, road-map and funding.”
The forum meets every six months and brings together representatives from West Sussex, Brighton and Lewes, Croydon, East Surrey and the Gatwick Diamond.
Coast to Capital chairman Tim Wates told the forum’s attendees: “I am delighted to see there are so many innovative businesses in this room, whose achievements demonstrate our modern, expanding economy.”
Mr Wates also emphasised the importance of collaboration between the private, public and voluntary sectors, which he believed will become ‘increasingly important in the future as we implement progressive, socially inclusive and environment-friendly economic activities.’
Coast to Capital represents a population of 1.9 million people, more than 85,000 businesses supporting more than 776,000 jobs and 141,000 self employed individuals.
Its focus is on areas where it can stimulate growth and add the most value, working with the private and public sectors.
It is one of 39 partnerships formed across the UK by the Government to determine regional economic priorities.
For more information about the organisation, visit www.coast2capital.org.uk