Appendix 2 – LGF project update

·      Bexhill and Hastings Movement and Access Package - This scheme was approved for £9m spend by the SE LEP Accountability Board in February 2018. We have progressed and consulted on a number of scheme designs for cycle routes in Hastings and Bexhill, including the western cycle route from the Combe Valley Way greenway, through the western section of Hastings providing access to existing schools, housing, and business developments, to central Silverhill area as well as the Alexandra Park cycle route. In addition, through the package we have developed and consulted on proposals for Bexhill town centre focussed on London Road and Hastings town centre relating to improving connectivity between the rail station, town centre and seafront. Ongoing design and construction work continues during 2022/23 and into 2023/24. Proposals for Havelock Road, and the allocated LGF, have been integrated into the wider aspirations for Hastings Town Centre and the £3m public realm/green connections funding in the Hastings Towns Deal.

·         Newhaven Port Access Road – Awarded £10m LGF funding. Following completion of the detailed engineering design, the scheme went to tender at the end of 2017. A preferred contractor (BAM Nuttall) was identified in January 2018. Following submission of the full business case to DfT in July 2018, funding approval was given by Government on 20 August 2018.Construction started in early 2019 with works were completed in October 2020. Funded from the Port Infrastructure Fund, the new link into the Port and the Port Access Road were opened to traffic in late Feb 2022.

·      East Sussex Strategic Growth Package (ESSGP)- Awarded £8.2m in 2017 through the LGF round three. Work on the road extension at Bexhill Enterprise Park was completed in September 2017. The construction of High Weald House (HWH) at the Bexhill Enterprise Park (South) is now complete and is ready for tenants to let. Later stages of the ESSGP subject to sale of the HWH building and other land receipts, expect to enable a recycling of funds that will lead to further developments at Sovereign Harbour, Bexhill, and Hastings Priory Quarter with additional development in South Wealden dependent on the need identified through the respective local plan processes.

·      North Bexhill Access Road – the £18.6m North Bexhill Access Road, which runs between Combe Valley Way and the A269 north of Sidley, was completed and opened to traffic in Mar 2019. However, the road has still not been adopted by the County Council as a number of post construction road safety related issues still need to be resolved by Seachange Sussex (SCS) before we take on the maintenance liability, as well as the need to complete landscaping and planting works. The road will unlock around 28,000sqm of employment space at the Bexhill Enterprise Park North site and residential development of approx. 500 dwellings. The planning application for the Enterprise Park was approved in April 2021. 

·      Queensway Gateway Road - The total budget for the scheme is £12m – the initial budget of £6m was increased using £4m LGF reallocated from underspends elsewhere in the programme, which was complemented with a £2m commitment from SCS.

Following completion of the works to provide access to all existing businesses off the Gateway Road, SCS has put forward a temporary traffic solution to complete the road while the land issues related to providing the permanent connection to the A21 are resolved. Highways England and ESCC have given an in principle approval to the transport modelling for the temporary connection and the scheme designs are also currently being considered by National Highways (NH) and ourselves.

SCS have been working through the Road Safety Audit process with NH. Following the previous sign-off of the Stage 1 Road Safety Audit by NH, the Stage 2 Audit was issued via NH in January 2022. Design amendments have been made by SCS in line with the independent auditors’ comments. Following review of the Stage 2 Road Safety Audit, NH requested an additional stage to the process with an Audit Addendum to review the amendments. In August 2022 a revised brief was approved by NH and the Audit Addendum was commissioned and is currently being completed. It is not until SCS have the required highways agreements in place with both ESCC and NH that all the consents required to construct the signalised junction will be in place.

·      Eastbourne Town Centre (ETC) – The total £8m LGF funding package applied in part to Phase 1 scheme which focusses on the section of Terminus Road between Station roundabout and Bankers Corner, Cornfield Road and Gildredge Road was completed in Jan 2020. Funded in part with £5m of LGF, the scheme has significantly improved the pedestrian environment in this section of ETC as well as supported the wider investment in the extension to The Beacon shopping centre, with construction completed in March 2020.

A business case for a further £3m investment in Phase 2a of movement and access in Eastbourne town centre was approved by the SELEP’s Accountability Board in Feb 2019. The outcomes of the public consultation were reported to the Lead Member Transport and Environment (LMTE) in April 2020 with approval to progress to detailed design. A further report was considered by the LMTE in July 2021 who approved the advertisement of the necessary traffic regulation orders (TRO) and construction of the scheme. The TRO statutory consultation notices were delivered in Jan 2022 followed by public consultation in Summer 2022. A number of public TRO objections have been received by the County Council and so in order to address these and to avoid construction works beginning during November-December trading periods, construction will begin in the early part of 2023.

·      Eastbourne & South Wealden Walking and Cycling Package – The total £6.6m LGF funding has seen Phase 1 works completed in 2018/19 and centred on the delivery of the Horsey Way cycle path extension. The Phase 2 business case for the remaining £4m towards the package was approved by the SELEP's Accountability Board in Feb 2019. The designs for the schemes within this package have continued during 2020/21 albeit progress has been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Consultation has taken place on five cycle routes in Eastbourne in 2021/22 and the detailed design and delivery of these will continue into 2022/23 and 2023/24.

·      Devonshire Park Quarter Redevelopment– Part of a wider £50m investment the £16m welcome centre opened in June 2019. The £5m LGF investment was fully spent in 2017/18.

·      Newhaven Eastside South Business Park– £1.6m funding provided by Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership (C2C LEP) with Phase 1 of construction completed and site has been fully let upon opening for 2,360m2. Phase 2 construction commenced in April 2018.

·      Newhaven Flood Alleviation Scheme – This is an Environment Agency (EA) led scheme to reduce flood risk in Newhaven and recognise the wider benefits this will bring in encouraging regeneration in the town. £10m from EA and £1.5m from C2C LEP as well as SELEP funding of £1.5m; The EA appointed a main contractor (Jackson Hyder) to produce detailed designs and construct the flood defences with construction having started in Nov 2016. The rail works are now fully completed - the temporary flood defence barrier was deployed during a trial in early Nov 2021 which coincided with planned rail engineering works. The formal completion date for the scheme was 31 Mar 2022 for the Principal Contractor related works achieved following rectification of minor outstanding elements.

·      Coastal Communities Housing Project Hastings– Using £0.67m of LGF investment, Hastings Borough Council and Optivo have invested over £2m in the purchase and refurbishment of a former care home in St Leonards for the creation of 16 social rent units.

·      Bexhill Enterprise Park North - The £1.94m LGF funding will be used to deliver the site and servicing infrastructure required to provide full access to the individual development plots within the Bexhill Enterprise Business Park North off the North Bexhill Access Road. These works will directly enable development of the business park and will facilitate private sector investment in the site to bring forward 8,000 sqm of light industrial units and up to 8,000 sqm of manufacturing space. The planning application for the project was refused by Rother District Council and SCS, the scheme promoter appealed the decision. The appeal was heard in Jan 21 and the Planning Inspectorate advised SCS on 1 Apr 2021 that their appeal had been successful. The grant funding agreement between ESCC and SCS was completed in October 2021 allowing the project to meet the conditions to maintain and begin drawdown of the LGF allocated to the scheme. The road construction has been completed and the development of the business units has been delayed into 2023 as there is a need for the UK Power Networks to undertake the undergrounding of the overhead hi voltage cables which cross the site (UKPN advise this work cannot commence until a yet to be confirmed date in 2023 – SCS will confirm).  

·      Skills for Rural Businesses The total £4.41m LGF funding will be used to support the provision of the infrastructure and training required to secure better AgriFood productivity and efficiency post-Brexit. This infrastructure comprises the first phase of an ambitious development on the college site involving the construction of a 2 storey centre of excellence in AgriFood knowledge transfer; improved pedestrian and road user access to the new facilities; redevelopment of the pig production and beef and sheep handling facilities, including automated milking stations; and the development of a village green through landscaping opportunities. The project was awarded an additional £1.49m LGF through the LGF Covid Response Fund pipeline. The delivery programme continues to be progressed with the LGF funded elements of the master plan planned for completion by 31 December 2022.

·      Churchfields Business Centre (formerly Sidney Little Road Business Incubator Hub) with £0.5m LGF funding this project will deliver 28 new incubator units on a currently redundant site in the Churchfields Industrial Estate in Hastings. The 28 new incubator units will range from 322 sqft to 344 sqft in size, with a total area of 9,558 sqft. The project experienced significant cost increases after receiving higher than anticipated tender returns, Hastings Borough Council (HBC) cabinet made the decision in February 2021 to proceed with the development with the cost increase of £750k to be covered by the HBC Town Investment Plan proposal as a shovel ready project. Hastings received approval of their Town Deal in summer 2021 and construction began in November 2021 with completion anticipated in November 2022. The LGF funding was achieved by the end of September 2021.

·      Bexhill Creative Workspace – with £0.96m LGF investment this project will create 1,599sqm of B1 light industrial space across six units for the specific use of creative industry businesses. Creating entry level and starter jobs for young creatives in the area and supporting 36 net additional jobs. The project is also located within one of the East Sussex strategic priority Growth Corridors, the A259/A21. The total scheme costs £1.76m with Rother District Council match funding £0.8m for the purchase of the building. Construction was completed in March 2022 and the studios launched in April 2022.

·      Eastbourne Fisherman’s Quay and Infrastructure Development – Phases 2 and 3 – with £1.44 LGF investment the delivery of the Fisherman’s Quay will maximise the local economic benefits arising from the fishing activity, through transforming an uneven, open yard into a resilient and productive community asset. The LGF funding has been awarded to facilitate delivery of Phases 2 and 3, whilst delivery of Phase 1 of the project is supported by a Growing Places Fund loan. Phase 2 will deliver two buildings, which are joined on the upper floors, offering 360 sqm of new space. The ground and first floors will provide storage space for fishing and landing equipment as well as a repair workshop. Phase 3 will deliver a 150 sqm building which will be used as a Visitor Centre and as a base for the Eastbourne Fisherman’s under 10m Community Interest Company’s outreach and engagement work. Construction of both Phase 2 and 3 have been completed in 2022.