Newhaven Unleashed

Our vision is that by 2030, Newhaven Enterprise Zone will have been a catalyst to support sustainable, good economic growth and business resilience, helping to deliver a new era for Newhaven – A repurposed Town Centre built on creativity, a thriving business destination driven by our growth sectors and a major contributor to the Sussex Regional Economy.

Our three-year plan sets out 7 programme areas for priority actions, including three new grant programmes. The plan and interventions have been designed to prioritise investment to provide the necessary infrastructure and support to improve economic productivity, accelerate business growth and investment, create jobs and ensure that work provides a genuine route out of poverty and exclusion through better quality jobs and higher wages.

A proportion of the NEZ funding will continue to be allocated to invest in economic growth and regeneration projects, specifically to match fund growth and place-based programmes and projects.

A small proportion of the Investment Fund will also be used for feasibility and technical work to structure and develop transformational projects.

This funding pot will support transformational projects from the public or private sector which meet the following criteria:

  • Support our Strategic Objectives
  • Leverage investment (a minimum of 1:1)
  • Demonstrate impact and benefits
  • Demonstrate value for money

Funding support will be provided either through capital grant or through loan arrangements.

This fund will finance feasibility studies, masterplans, site investigations, pre-planning and business case development to support the case for commercial sites that have remained undeveloped for over twelve months to raise finance.

The fund will be open to all businesses and landowners located in the Newhaven Enterprise Zone sites. 50% match funding is required up to a maximum grant of £25,000.

Projects will need to meet the following criteria:

  • Support our Strategic Objectives
  • Leverage investment (a minimum of 1:1)
  • Demonstrate impact and benefits
  • Demonstrate value for money
  • Will be delivered within a 12-month period

The NEZ will support key sectors which have competitive advantage and can offer real growth opportunities in the Town.


Valuing creative freedom is a key pillar to Newhaven’s proposition, underpinned by quantitative and qualitative evidence that points to the need for investment in this sector.

Work has begun to scope resource needed to build the capacity and infrastructure to support creative growth while also creating an unrivalled programme of events to challenge any negative perceptions about the place. The aim is to begin to animate the public spaces in and around the town that are earmarked to future redevelopment and demonstrate that investing now will create confidence in Newhaven’s direction of travel and attract early adopters (creative workspace, food offer, etc).

Creative Newhaven is about to enter is second year of fruition and has already begun to show early successes regards quality of programming, reach and leveraging investment. It has a full-time Creative Producer, hosted by the Towner Partnership, who is successfully building effective and collaborative working through the Creative Newhaven platform.

2023 will see the centenary celebrations for the Towner being marked by hosting the internationally acclaimed Turner Prize. There is significant opportunity for Newhaven to be included in the wraparound festival and place itself firmly in the minds of those who visit as a creative centre.


Newhaven is a place that has always been intrinsically linked with marine and water. It has a strong fishing tradition but also has the potential to support a wider food and drink offer, along with the outdoor activities linked to a strong marine influenced leisure offer.

As par of building a vibrant place and local economy, education in marine-related study through the Marine Hub and marine workshops will be important. Activity linked to green energy would be appropriate for Newhaven and would give clear focus.

Support needs to be given to investing in Newhaven Marine to understand the interventions required, especially with regard to expert advice and collaborative, flexible solutions that look beyond Newhaven.

Partnerships can be developed with the cluster of London Ports, of which Newhaven is one, but also along the south coast, to develop and innovate solutions around green fuels, waste, access to markets and, importantly, marine skills.

The marine workshops will provide a physical hub on the waterside to focus on work and share experiences, but also to make a strong statement of intent that Newhaven is a marine centre.

It is expected that the EZ will provide seed funding to underwrite the successful growth of the hub through a phased subsidy whilst the marine hub builds relevant occupancy and financial sustainability, with oversight and expert support to the marine-based business there.

As part of the process for assisting SMEs in Newhaven to move towards net zero operation, the NEZ will pilot a new Low Carbon Investment Fund. The Low Carbon Investment Fund is for any company with a base on one of the NEZ sites that wishes to pursue business growth by developing low carbon products and/or incorporating low carbon processes or services. This may be achieved through pure research and development (R&D), capital investment or environmental aid support.

This grant is primarily focused on supporting projects that will help the transition to a low carbon economy. This may include, but is not limited to, developing:

  • A new product or service, or introducing new technology that will use less energy, produce less waste, reduce emissions and use less raw material in its manufacture than the existing alternative.
  • New business models based on the principles of the circular economy – for example, through circular supplies, resource recovery, product life extension, use of sharing platforms or delivery of ‘product-as-a-service’.

Projects will need to meet the following criteria:

  • SME business operating in Newhaven
  • Leverage investment (a minimum of 1:1)
  • Demonstrate net zero benefits
  • Will be delivered within a 12-month period

Significant investment is taking place to transform Newhaven town centre and high street.

As a key Enterprise Zone site, resources will be allocated to work with key stakeholders, including public agencies, to test and develop appropriate management and maintenance arrangements to build capacity and structures for the future sustainable management of the town centre.

The Newhaven story is both ambitious and aspirational, but also reflects the reality of Newhaven today.

The role of the EZ is to create confidence in the direction of travel set out, whilst the funding leveraged is effectively spent and projects delivered. That requires us to sustain the momentum created in order to attract occupiers for the new premises along with visitors to enjoy the wider and improved place-based leisure offer.

The key objective for our marketing and promotions is to create a media relations and social media campaign which generates continuous positive messaging about Newhaven and the Enterprise Zone across the region and the UK, in order to change perceptions, attract inward investment and boost local pride.

In addition, the fund will provide marketing support to promote the business investment programmes (01, 02 and 04) to raise awareness and ensure good take up of the investment opportunities.

We have chosen a local partner, who are retained to provide this advice and deliver the campaign on our behalf with whom we work very closely.

The NEZ Community Fund is now in its fourth year. Effectively managed by the Sussex Community Foundation it has been successful in prioritising projects that promote participation but more successfully pointing towards arts-based, active lifestyles and wellbeing programmes.

It has allocated near to £100,000 to date and we have some great stories to share of how that has been used with great impact and value.

As Creative Newhaven is now making strides it is time to review the criteria for the fund and focus on improving the reach of the fund to others in Newhaven, and to consider how we might increase capacity for those who wish to apply, ensure that they are able to apply and are fully supported.

Operating Expenditure:

The expanded cope of the Enterprise Zone will require and look at resources required to co-ordinate and manage the new funded work-streams and governance/oversight required of the executive team. Roles and responsibilities will be evaluated and it is expected that there will be an increase in operative budget to reflect this.