The Chancellor’s Budget this week not only signalled good news for the overall economy, with a rebounding 6.5% annual growth rate, but has also delivered a major boost for the Hove seafront which is now set to receive a major financial injection from the Government.
The Chancellor announced that £9.5 million will be allocated to the Kingsway-to-the-sea project to regenerate and reconfigure what are considered run-down and underused spaces on the seafront around Hove Lagoon.
The Hove project is one of 103 projects to be funded under the Prime Minister’s ‘Levelling-up’ policy, targeted at regenerating towns and regions in need across the United Kingdom.
The £9.5m for Hove is a great win for the area, particularly for the local community groups who have backed the project, including the West Hove Forum, West Hove Seafront Action Group, Hove Beach Hut Association and Friends of Hove Lagoon.
It is also a project that our Conservative Councillors are particularly proud has come to fruition.
The idea of a regeneration project for the western seafront was first proposed by our Wish Ward Councillors Robert Nemeth and Garry Peltzer Dunn as a way to improve facilities and better use the space across the seafront.
The idea caught on and generated support from across the community and the Council, leading to the establishment of a dedicated Community Group, followed by the commissioning of landscape architects to shape discussions; and culminating in a Brighton and Hove City Council submission to the Government’s Levelling up fund earlier this year that I was pleased to support.
The project itself covers the 1km section of seafront between the King Alfred Leisure Centre and Hove Lagoon, and involves the remodelling and landscaping of parkland, modern outdoor sports and leisure facilities and events space to make the most of the space in this unique area.
The Conservatives are supportive of this proposal as it would generate better facilities for families, which have been leaving the city at an alarming rate. Recently the council announced that within eight years, four local secondary schools will have too few new pupils to remain viable. With each family that leaves, the council’s tax base tends to get smaller.
A family-focused regeneration at West Hove with the combination of Hove Lagoon for leisure and creative play, the adjacent beach, modern outdoor facilities for multiple court-based sports and dedicated events space for local markets would help address this - and also be a unique place in England. It is terrific that this project is now all go!
The Conservatives have welcomed the Chancellor’s Autumn Budget and Spending Review, which provides the foundations for a stronger economy across every part of the United Kingdom as the country continues its recovery from the pandemic.
The Budget prioritises helping working families and vulnerable households with the cost of living, including through a significant tax cut for low-income families by reducing the Universal Credit taper rate from 63 per cent to 55 per cent, a 6.6 per cent increase in the National Living Wage to £9.50 an hour – giving a £1,000 pay rise to 2 million of the lowest paid – lifting pay restraints for public sector workers, a freeze in fuel duty for the twelfth consecutive year, and a freeze in alcohol duty – alongside radical reform to make the system simpler, fairer and healthier.
Businesses will also benefit from new measures, including a 50 per cent cut in business rates next year for 90 per cent of retail, hospitality and leisure – alongside a freeze of all rates – the creation of new business rates relief to encourage green technologies and improvements to properties, and a doubling of creative industries tax reliefs for the UK’s world-leading theatres, orchestras, museums and galleries.
Other measures to drive economic growth include record investment in our roads, railways and broadband; supporting innovation through a record £20 billion spending on R&D; and a huge uplift in skills training through T-levels, Institutes of Technology, and apprenticeships.
As part of the three year Spending Review delivered alongside the Budget, total government departmental spending will increase by £150 billion by 2024 – a 3.8 per cent annual real terms increase – the largest real terms increase this century, and record levels of capital investment not seen in 50 years.
This funding increase will help to deliver on the Conservative Government’s key manifesto promises, including building 40 new hospitals, recruiting 20,000 police officers, and raising per pupil spending in schools to record levels.
The Budget provides good news ahead for our city and economy as we recover from the pandemic.