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Coast to Capital Big Debate on the big economic issues

Around the country Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) are preparing Local Industrial Strategies to take forward economic growth in their areas. These strategies set the context for major investment projects in coming years: brought into sharper focus with the likelihood for a more certain economic future, following the recent General Election.


Coast to Capital (C2C) recently held a business engagement event in Crawley to discuss the Local Industrial Strategy (pictured) and FSB representatives attended. C2C LEP runs along the A23/M23 corridor, covering the Gatwick Diamond area, East Surrey, West Sussex and Brighton and Hove City.

Called ‘The Big Debate’, prompted by some lightning presentations (ie short and sweet!), audience members proposed solutions to a number of economic issues. These included how to improve our local urban centres and build a more sustainable economy. Themes that were developed in smaller groups included improving broadband speeds, working in close partnership with schools and colleges on business skills and improving transport mobility to attract and retain talent. 

Geoff Williamson, Sussex Area Leader, who attended the event said: “C2C are keen to establish new ways of partnership working to help the area succeed. Their draft Economic Profile highlights key economic goals such as championing sustainable growth, improving digital connectivity and tackling the skills shortage. FSB is supportive of these aims and wants to put smaller and micro businesses, which make up well over 90% of firms in the area, at the centre of the action. If they thrive, the economy thrives.”