A MOVE to join Arun District Council with the greater Brighton area should boost jobs and prosperity, it has been claimed.
Members of the Greater Brighton Economic Board, pictured below, have agreed to ask the council to join after a formal request was received from it last year.
Arun will join six other local authorities, business partnerships, two universities, Gatwick Airport and the South Downs National Park Authority working together to attract investment from the government and private sector.
Greater Brighton has attracted more than £160m for infrastructure projects within the past four years.
In a report to the board, its officers says Arun will ‘add much to the critical mass and economic diversity of the greater Brighton city region economy’.
Cllr Garry Wall, chairman of Greater Brighton, said: “Obviously, both Arun and the members of the greater Brighton region will need to individually support this proposal.
“But the report makes clear what a good fit Arun is with us, helping us to grow and become even more attractive to investors.
“Since we began in 2014, we have now had Crawley Borough Council and Gatwick Airport joining us to make a very powerful region indeed.
“It goes without saying that the more of us sharing a common aim to improve the lives of citizens by working together for the good of the whole greater Brighton region can only be a good thing.”
The addition of the Arun district to the greater Brighton area will add 55,000 jobs and take greater Brighton’s employment base to more than half a million. The report to the board described this as ‘a significant milestone’.
The region’s economic worth of some £23 billion would be boosted by 10 per cent should Arun join.
The report also pointed out Arun had the potential to help to relocate some of the businesses who were finding it hard to get premises in the Brighton area.
In addition, 1,900 people moved from the greater Brighton region to Arun in 2016. Arun provided jobs for about 4,500 Brighton residents and 9,000 commuted in the opposite direction.
Arun’s chief executive, Nigel Lynn, said: “We look forward to working more closely with partners within the Greater Brighton Economic Board area for the benefit of residents not only in Arun, but across the whole of this important economic zone.”