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15,840 businesses in city as plan unveiled for more growth



A NEW plan reveals how Brighton and Hove could become one of the most productive and inclusive economies by 2024.

The city’s new economic strategy to 2024 provides a blueprint for the Greater Brighton region to grow.

Active business in Brighton & Hove grew by 20 per cent between 2012 and 2017, and there are now 15,840 businesses in the city.

The plan aims to ensure they will be able to take on current challenges and future opportunities.

It urges businesses, entrepreneurs, educators and communities to be bold and build on our local reputation for openness, creativity and innovation.

Councillor Nancy Platts, lead councillor for the economy, said: “The new strategy recognises that the next 20 years will be very different and sets out how the city can be a trailblazer for new business ideas and models.

“We want to create a low carbon economy and ensure the benefits of our success are shared with all those living here.”

Business sectors such as digital, ‘green’ technology, life sciences, higher education and tourism are strong in the city.

In 2018, Brighton and Hove was voted the best place to start a small business and has one of the best qualified workforces in the country, as well as having the highest number of home workers.

The strategy was developed by Brighton and Hove Economic Partnership and the council with partners across the city, looking at practical solutions to challenges that affect the city’s performance and growth potential.

Over the next five years, the idea is to bring together businesses and communities to test new approaches and take forward business ideas.

These include:

• Promoting a wider take-up of the Brighton Living Wage to encourage and support sustainable employment

• Working towards ensuring social value through procurement and community wealth building

• More targeted support for small businesses in the city so they can stay, grow and access new markets

• Exploring the potential for the city to become a test-bed for innovation in retail using virtual reality to create new experiences in high street shopping.. Digital Catapult Brighton, University of Brighton and Redevco are currently exploring this as part of the Hannington Street development.

• Offering training in digital skills to fit in with business needs by creating better links between employers and local creative digital training provision such as the Greater Brighton MET Creative Campus project.

• Building on the strengths of our universities in clean/green growth, digital media, advanced engineering, quantum computing and life sciences to develop opportunities for growth and innovation.

• Connecting the resources and expertise of the universities and colleges to ambitious companies large and small, across the city region.

Nick Hibberd and Max Woodford from the council’s economy, environment and culture directorate introduced the new economic strategy at a special Brighton and Hove chamber of commerce event.

The former Hanningtons department store is being transformed into a new Lane.

There will be 13 shops, plush offices, apartments and a new entrance to The Lanes from North Street.

Existing shops on the main road have also undergone a major revamp.

European retail real estate investment manager Redevco started redeveloping the 1.3 acre site in February 2017.

Its portfolio director Andrew Foulds said: “This is something different and it’s full of character.

“It won’t be your conventional high street, we want people to get lost in our new area.

“I believe that we have a captive audience, whether it be commuters, students, academics, tourists and locals.

“I see this as future-proof retail.

“We have been on site for two years and we are creating something unique. I can’t wait for the opening.

“It’s going to be really exciting for Brighton.”

The area links The Lanes, North Laine, East Street and the cultural quarter leading to Brighton beach.

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Duke and Duchess of Sussex's baby to make public debut soon



The world will catch its first glimpse of the newborn son of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex later today when the two-day-old boy is expected to attend his first photocall.

Harry and Meghan have been enjoying the experience of being new parents at their Frogmore Cottage home near the Queen’s Windsor Castle residence.

And now they plan to show off the baby that has changed their lives forever although it is not yet known if the couple have settled on a name for their baby son.

Family members spoke about the joy of the new arrival with the Duke of Cambridge saying on Tuesday he was “obviously thrilled, absolutely thrilled, and obviously looking forward to seeing them in the next few days when things have quietened down”.

He added: “I’m very pleased and glad to welcome my own brother into the sleep deprivation society that is parenting.”

Harry was at his wife’s side during the birth on Monday and he later confessed he had only had a few hours’ sleep, suggesting Meghan had spent much of the night in labour.

Kate revealed they had no clues about the baby’s name but were eager to see the Sussexes and their new arrival.

She said: “As William said, we’re looking forward to meeting him and finding out what his name’s going to be so it’s really exciting for both of them and we wish them all the best.

“These next few weeks are always a bit daunting the first time round so we wish them all the best.”

Baby Sussex arrived at 5.26am on Monday, weighing 7lb 3oz, and is thought to have been born at Frogmore Cottage, but there are some reports claiming the baby was delivered in a London hospital.

The Prince of Wales has also spoken publicly for the first time about the birth, saying he was “delighted” at arrival of his latest grandchild.

During an official visit to Germany with the Duchess of Cornwall, Charles said on Tuesday: “We couldn’t be more delighted at the news and we’re looking forward to meeting the baby when we return.”

Harry’s grandmother the Queen accepted the congratulations of a Windsor Castle guest who asked: “Life is good for Your Majesty?”

The Queen, who was joined by the Duke of Edinburgh, was hosting a lunch on Tuesday for members of the Order of Merit and smiling said in reply “yes, thank you”.

The infant is believed to be the first mixed-race child born to a senior member of the royal family in centuries and is a reflection of modern Britain with its culturally diverse population.

Alexander and Spencer are the new favourite names for the infant with many of the bookies after the long-term pick Arthur was dethroned in a flurry of betting.

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New drone pictures show devastating effects of Ashdown Forest fire



NEW images have been released showing the vast amount of damage caused by a forest fire. 

They spread across 15 hectares of land – the equivalent of about 15 full-sized football pitches. 

Firefighters from Crowborough, Mayfield, Heathfield, Uckfield, Forest Row, Lewes and Seaford with support from West Sussex and Kent were needed to fight the fierce blaze.

The Argus:

Conservation officer for Ashdown Forest Steve Alton said: “The fire crews worked through the night.

“It started around 9.30pm and wasn’t really out until about 4.30am.

“The sad part is the timing of it. It’s happened right at the time where we have ground nesting birds which is a little worrying.

“But it’s a busy time for accidental fires with the bank holidays.

“Trying to find a cause for it though is like trying to find a needle in a haystack.”

READ MORE >> WATCH: MASSIVE fire sweeps across 15 hectares of ‘Winnie the Pooh’ forest 

An investigation is under way into the cause but it is not thought to have been deliberate.

The Argus:

Andrew Gausden, incident commander, said: “We received numerous calls at 9.30pm from members of the public and the police regarding a fire in the Ashdown Forest.

“The fire took hold quickly and was significant with approximately 15 hectares alight in a valley area behind the back of Duddleswell.

“It is always challenging with forest fires in gaining access. We used off road vehicles – five Land Rovers – and received assistance from Kent Fire and Rescue who brought in their all-terrain vehicles.

“We are not looking at it being a deliberate fire at this time. Investigations will take place over the next few days.

“We would like to thank West Sussex Fire and Rescue, Kent Fire and Rescue, Ashdown Forest Rangers and Sussex Police for their assistance with this incident.”

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Major investment means a smart new look for two pubs



TWO pubs have received a large investment from a family-owned brewer.

The Dragon in Horsham and The Cherry Tree in Crawley have benefited from £400,000 in funding from the Hall and Woodhouse brewery (H&W).

The money in both cases has been used to carry out major developments to the properties.

Both pubs are operated by local entrepreneur Oscar Higareda and run in partnership with H&W.

The investment is the second largest to date within H&W’s business partnership estate.

More than £270,000 was invested into The Dragon to refurbish the pub’s interiors, including an orangery extension which has created 38 additional covers and the installation of a fresh meat counter to support the pub’s unique Japanese grill offering.

The garden has also benefited from an update and now has an open fire pit with surrounding decking.

Similarly at The Dragon’s sister pub, The Cherry Tree, more than £170,000 has been invested to carry out significant internal and external refurbishments to bring the pub in line with the concept at The Dragon.

The owners believe the pub’s new look has created a “welcoming atmosphere which is complemented by the interior makeover”.

A fresh meat counter has also been installed in the pub to strengthen its menu offering.

Oscar Chacon, business partner at Hall and Woodhouse, said: “I am very proud of the major refurbishments which we have undertaken in partnership with H&W at both The Dragon and The Cherry Tree.

“It’s great to see how well received it has been by our guests.

“The team at H&W understood my vision for the pubs and have supported my desire to reinvent our hospitality offering, to ensure our guests keep returning for years to come.

“As a multiple licensee I have spoken to a few pub companies over the years with the idea of expanding my portfolio of pubs, and by far the best agreement I have come across is the H&W Business Partnerships Agreement.

H&W offers personalised support and I really value their help to develop my business into something bigger.”

H&W is a local independent family company that brews award-winning Badger ales and runs a collection of 180 pubs and inns across the south of England.

H&W is a “values-led business where its team are at the heart of everything it aspires to”.

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