Lewes District Council submitted a £24.7m bid to the government's Towns Fund on Friday January 29 with extensive plans to make Newhaven a vital and thriving southern gateway for the UK by 2030.
The council put forward the Town Investment Plan (TIP) for Newhaven on behalf of the Town Deal Board after Newhaven was shortlisted among 101 towns invited to develop proposals for a share of the government fund.
If the bid is successful, it will unlock a further £18 million in match-funding from private and public sector partners bringing huge economic regeneration to Newhaven and a transformation of the town's landscape.
The proposals span 17 projects under seven key programmes:
- Re-connecting our town by linking up the town centre with key residential and business areas while reducing traffic congestion and improving air quality
- Building our economic strength with new and enhanced employment spaces, redevelopment of land and a dedicated facility for social enterprise start-ups
- Re-imagining our town centre by revitalising it with community focus including well-maintained public spaces and a greater range of services, shops and amenities
- An active community delivering a range of recreation initiatives on land and on water to encourage residents to take up active pursuits
- Destination Newhaven enhancing attractions and improving connections to them will increase visitors and position Newhaven as the continental gateway to the UK
- Better journeys for all encouraging sustainable transport, providing good connections to the wider region and improving accessibility by foot and bicycle
- Maintaining maritime vitality recognising Newhaven as a strategic gateway to the continent with an improved welcome and enhanced passenger facilities
Councillor James MacCleary, Leader of Lewes District Council and local councillor for Newhaven South, said: "Those of us that live in Newhaven know it's a great place with huge potential and it is tremendous to see this plan come together.
"Residents often tell me that they are tired of grand schemes for our town that never come to anything and I share that frustration. I am keen to use this to build on the council's recent success in its Future High Streets Fund bid, and decision to provide free parking in the town centre.
"This is about bringing new vitality to Newhaven so that it stands out as the brilliant place to live, work and raise a family that we all know it is."
Maria Caulfield, MP for Lewes, said: "I am pleased the Government is supporting Newhaven in its plans to regenerate the town. I welcome this TIP, as it is a great springboard for the future of Newhaven."
Cllr MacCleary and Ms Caulfield sit on the Newhaven Town Deal Board along with Baroness Whitaker and representatives from Newhaven Town Council, East Sussex County Council, the Greater Brighton Economic Board, South East Local Enterprise Partnership, Newhaven Enterprise Zone, central government, community, education and business representatives.
The board is chaired by Chris Ketley who said: "The submission of this bid under the Government's Towns Fund initiative is the culmination of an enormous amount of hard work, care and diligence by the board and delivery team, together with many valuable contributions from Newhaven residents and the business community.
"Not only will the 17 proposed projects bring a wealth of opportunity to Newhaven, they will also transform the town and create a compelling vision for its future. If it's successful, the bid will also bring in matched funding of around £18 million, helping us to deliver an exciting £40 million+ development programme. This will enable Newhaven to address the challenges we've identified and build upon recent successes to create a town that people want to live, work and invest in."
If the bid is successful, a Heads of Terms agreement will be made between the government and Lewes District Council. The council and the Town Deal Board will then have up to a year to develop fully-costed business cases for agreed projects and submit them to government in line with the agreement.