Lewes District Council

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Lewes District Council
Southover House
Southover Road
East Sussex

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Communities & Enterprise

Our Property, Regeneration & Enterprise department comprises a range of services including management of our property assets, regeneration, economic development and tourism services.

Councillor Rob Blackman

Cabinet Member for Business, Economic Development and Tourism, Councillor Rob Blackman

This is our plan for delivering regeneration and economic development over the next four years. It sets out the detailed plan for Building a Brighter Future, A Regeneration Strategy for Lewes District Council 2012-2015 and the broad direction until 2015. This is a new area of focus for the Council and is an area of work which I believe comes at a vital time for the economic prosperity of the District, its businesses and residents.

Lewes District is an area of contrasts – with the rural countryside of the South Downs National Park sitting alongside more urban coastal areas. However, irrespective of the location, our District is a place of outstanding beauty. It is extremely well connected to key destinations such as London, Gatwick Airport and, along the coast to Brighton and Hove, Hastings and Eastbourne. The District also offers a convenient gateway to mainland Europe for leisure and business via the Port of Newhaven.

Despite the wider economic climate, our local economy is strong with nearly 5,000 businesses. There is a great spirit of entrepreneurship in the District as shown by the levels of self-employed and SMEs. Whilst employment and skills levels are relatively high there are pockets of deprivation particularly in some rural and coastal areas where there are low levels of skills and qualification and high levels of unemployment.

Work on economic development and regeneration, particularly in the current economic climate, is an important aspect of the Council’s vision for the area, namely to create prosperous and vibrant communities. We will play our part, along with a variety of partners to create the right environment for new business start ups and growth. This will help our residents to access jobs which, in turn, contributes greatly to health and wellbeing. 

The Council, with its partners, aims to support a balanced economy through regeneration of coastal towns, support for diversification of the rural economy and ensuring that the local economy is not over-reliant on a few sectors. We are working with Town and Parish Councils, Local Economic Partnerships (South East and Coast to Capital), the County Council, as well as the community and private sector to take advantage of the opportunities for economic growth and prosperity that exist in the District. This includes regeneration at Newhaven associated with the existing Port, creating sustainable tourism and supporting the diversification of the local economy so it is fit for modern business. Our strategy for growth also involves supporting the existing manufacturing sector to move towards modern manufacturing by harnessing the knowledge of the local tertiary education sector (including South Downs College, Brighton University and University of Sussex). We will also look at ways in which we can improve the retail and commercial stock of premises.

Whilst these are difficult economic times Lewes District Council will be innovative in its delivery of regeneration by using its resources in a targeted way and working in partnership to sustain business confidence.


Aims and Objectives

Our aim is to create prosperous and vibrant communities.

 Service Objectives  Outcomes (desired/expected)
Promote regeneration in Newhaven with public and private sector partners Improved connectivity and public realm and an improved leisure and retail offer and increased jobs.
 Support the creation of jobs and skills for a modern economy  A co-ordinated delivery of employment and skills services which meet the needs of local residents and business.
Exploit the opportunities of the South Down National Park  The area will perform an important tourism, heritage and recreational role within the region
• Coastal towns seen as the gateways to the South Downs
• Greater use of the outstanding recreational opportunities such as Ditchling Beacon and Mount Caburn amongst some of the best recognised attractions.
• Promotion of iconic places and views that are part of the national consciousness, from Cuckmere Haven and the views of the Seven Sisters to the internationally renowned opera house at Glyndebourne.
• Lewes town seen as eastern centre of the South Down National Park
 Attract, support and retain business and enterprise  Increased in the number of businesses starting, growing and locating in the District.
 Market the District and coastal towns as visitor destinations and promote enjoy Sussex  More visitors staying longer in the District using the retail, hotel and leisure offer.
 Support sustainable cultural tourism and events in the district  More visitors staying longer in the District using the retail, hotel and leisure offer.
 Develop Newhaven fort as a quality visitor attraction  Intensification of Fort usage and increase in number of visitors
 Actively engage with LEPs to promote the District’s priorities  Joint opportunities for funding bids and approach to inward investment

Service Standards

In addition to our Customer Charter we have adopted the following service standards that you can expect from us.

Economic development and regeneration

Property and commercial estates management

Tourism Development & Promotion

Tourist Information Centres (TIC)

Newhaven Fort


Under the General Public Sector Equality Duty (2010) we must :-

  1. eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation;
  2. advance equality of opportunity between different groups in the community; and
  3. foster good relations within the local community

We carry out equality impact assessments (EIAs) for new or existing policies, strategies and services to see what effect they will have on different groups within our communities.  This helps us to identify potential consequences for these groups and ensure any negative impacts are eliminated or reduced.  They can also help us to identify actions to eliminate discrimination and promote positive relations between groups which are incorporated into our Departmental Service Plan.

Further information is available on our Equalities Policy and for copies of our Equality Impact Assessments.

Developing and Improving our Services

We have assessed the risks and main drivers for change likely to impact the service during 2011/12 and beyond:

National drivers

Local drivers for change

Performance, Progress and Forward Plans

We have reviewed progress and performance for last year.  A summary is provided here.

Department Policies & Strategies

We publish the details of how we organise and decide the various aspects of our work. The policies list the rules we work to and the strategies show what we are planning to achieve and how.

A Regeneration Strategy for Lewes District Council 2012–2015
PDF Building A Brighter Future (4.43mb)