Getting the West Sussex economy moving

Priorities and partnerships are key to the county council’s draft economy reset plan in response to the economic impact of COVID-19.

The full draft plan, plus proposed action points, can be seen here. It was endorsed by the county council’s Cabinet on Tuesday (21 July) as the basis for discussion with the council’s partners.

Bob Lanzer, Cabinet Member for Economy, said: “We remain committed to our existing economy priorities including the Growth Deals with the district and borough councils, the Experience West Sussex tourism partnership, and the development of Horsham Enterprise Park. We also propose to work in partnership to address areas needing more attention due to the impact of COVID-19.

“Businesses have been hit hard by this impact: people have lost their jobs and livelihoods, and the implications of the travel and aviation industry crisis on Gatwick airport are far-reaching for both the region and the whole country.

“We have been making immediate responses to support the economy during the lockdown. Now, nurturing strong partnerships locally and regionally will be a principle of the economy reset approach.”

Priority areas include:

  • Focussing on skills and employment reflecting the significant impact COVID-19 is having on jobs, the self-employed and those seeking to enter the labour market in West Sussex
  • Maximising opportunities to support businesses and residents through Government initiatives
  • Focussing on Crawley, the wider Gatwick Diamond economy and the businesses and people severely impacted by the aviation crisis and current position with Gatwick Airport
  • Accelerating the adoption and application of digital technology and installing new infrastructure
  •  Addressing the needs of particular sectors, including tourism
  • Exploring opportunities to support the aims of the county council’s Climate Change Strategy through our approach to economic recovery

In October, the economy reset plan will be proposed for adoption by the council.

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