Businesses in Newhaven are being offered grants of up to £25,000 to inject new life into empty commercial buildings and create much-needed jobs in the town.
The move forms part of a major push to transform Newhaven into a key contributor to the Sussex economy by 2030 and the fund is being delivered in partnership with social enterprise Let’s Do Business Group.
Successful projects will need to show they can deliver business growth, job creation and regeneration for the town.
Corinne Day, programme director, Newhaven Enterprise Zone, said: “This initiative represents a pivotal moment in Newhaven’s economic landscape, empowering businesses and revitalising underutilised properties to drive growth and create new job opportunities.
“By launching this innovative fund, NEZ is paving the way for a prosperous future and fostering a vibrant and dynamic business environment that will benefit the entire community.”
Let’s Do Business Group has played a part in helping several key businesses to find commercial space to expand in the town, including Jeavons Toffee, which transformed the vegan home kitchen into an award-winning vegan toffee manufacturer, with products stocked in hundreds of independent outlets nationwide.
It also helped Hello Flamingo, an award-winning creative design and props manufacturer from Brighton, to move its production facilities to Newhaven, creating jobs in the town, as well as providing support to Paul Cox Sculpture.
Now the Newhaven Sites and Empty Property Fund will drive the development of vacant commercial floorspaces and sites and help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) just like Jeavons Toffee, Hello Flamingo and Paul Cox Sculpture to accelerate their growth – which will ultimately benefit the entire town.
The money can be used for feasibility studies, masterplans, site investigations, pre-planning assessments, business-case development and essential repairs and improvements.
The goal is to provide support and build a compelling case for commercial sites and premises that have remained undeveloped for more than 12 months.
To access the fund, Newhaven SMEs must provide a minimum of 50% match funding.
Private sector owned and public sector sites are eligible and partnership agreements will be considered, too, however retail, hotel and catering and other service sector sites will not be covered by the fund.
The Newhaven Sites and Empty Property Fund forms part of a wider programme of funding and events that have been curated by the NEZ to support growth in the area.
Set up in 2017, the NEZ has established itself as a driving force for investment, unlocking development opportunities, attracting businesses and creating jobs.
Day added: “Our vision is that by 2030 the NEZ 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.”
Let’s Do Business project lead Brett Pearson said: “We are delighted to have been chosen to deliver another regeneration fund that supports employment and business growth.
“Newhaven has been highly successful over recent years and this continued investment from the Enterprise Zone, just reconfirms that this support will continue.”
Let’s Do Business Group has been appointed to manage the process and support businesses with progressing applications.
Find out more and apply here.