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.