Department of International Trade backs Mid Sussex plans to create a Science and Tech Park with the talent, investment and facilities to be world-leading

The Government's Department of International Trade has pledged to put its weight behind Mid Sussex's planned new Science and Tech park, deemed as essential to the country's future economic growth.

Dr Mike Short, Chief Scientific Advisor, Department of International Trade, speaking at a Westminster launch event for Opportunity Mid Sussex, said that DIT "stands ready to help find investment and to build on adjacent company clusters."

"Westminster knows science parks are the right way for future growth, and we also know some of science tech strengths in UK are really strong," he told delegates.

Delegates at the VIP launch event, which took place in London on 7 September, were shown details of the 49-hectare 'Project Newton' site which will have the potential to deliver up to 4,500 jobs, 1.3million sq. ft of commercial floorspace and 80,000 sq. ft of ancillary support and amenity facilities, with between 40,000-50,000 people within cycling distance and 1,500 within walking distance.

Dr Short said Project Newton was ideally placed to succeed, thanks to its strong university links, a talent pipeline and investment, which will attract new tenant, combined with its location – close to Brighton on the doorstep of London as well as the global gateway of Gatwick. He added that the park would enable the surrounding region to maximise the opportunities presented by its existing clusters of life sciences, medtech, advanced manufacturing, aerospace and creative industries.

"You have great opportunities to bring together the talent, investment and facilities to be a second to none science park."

The Opportunity Mid Sussex launch event in Westminster attracted over 50 VIPs from the private and public sector, including Mid Sussex MP Mims Davies and Arundel and South Downs MP Andrew Griffith.

Cllr Ash-Edwards, Leader, Mid-Sussex Council explained to delegates that the Science Park site was a key part of the authority's wider development plans in the region; "Mid Sussex is seeing one of the most exciting developments in the UK today. With more than £2bn of sites under delivery we are ready to welcome a new generation of business leaders to Mid Sussex as we grow our economy, create new opportunities for business and enterprise and boost infrastructure to ensure prosperity for all."

Suzanne Holloway, Partner, Vail Williams detailed the importance of collaboration as the company had worked alongside Mid-Sussex Council over the last five years to push the development forward, she described it as "one of the biggest developments in the South East" and would help to fill the gap in the area for a science park "bridging the gap between Southampton and Kent". She noted its location next to the Northern Arc development, promoted by Homes England, would also create the opportunity for the site to be employment-led alongside residential.

Joanna Havers, Head of Economic Development, University of Brighton mentioned the park's importance in delivering innovation and economic growth across the region. She explained the work the University of Brighton and University of Sussex have been doing in the sector to create an Innovation Ecosystem and the importance of collaboration, expertise and specialist facilities to continue the drive for economic growth, job creation and attracting high growth industries.

Stephen Hillier, Cabinet Member for Economic Growth and Net Zero, Mid Sussex Council concluded the event with a round-up of the council's development programme which includes the creation of fast resilient broadband across Mid Sussex to help support tech companies, and its continued drive for sustainability with the district set on a pathway to net carbon zero.

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