Sussex welcomes funding award for regional growth and jobs

An enterprise partnership involving the University of Sussex has won major Government funding to help boost growth and jobs in the region.

Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership, one of 39 partnerships set up across the UK by Government to determine regional economic priorities and to drive growth and job creation, was named by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg as one of the successful bidders in the fourth round of bids for Regional Growth Fund awards.

The funding will generally support a programme of job creation in areas currently dependant on the public sector and provide grants for businesses that have developed new ideas, products, services and intellectual property to the point where they are ready to exploit market opportunities and create jobs.

The University of Sussex and its Sussex Innovation Centre (SinC) are members of the successful consortium, which includes other universities in the region, businesses and local authorities.

The Sussex Innovation Centre provides business incubator support for new technology entrepreneurs and works directly with University of Sussex academics to commercialise research. 

Mike Herd, Executive Director of the Sussex Innovation Centre, welcomed the announcement, saying: “The RGF project will help create stronger, more ambitious technology start-ups with real growth potential. The bid pulls together the academic research and teaching strengths of the Universities of Sussex, Brighton and Chichester with the business support expertise of the Sussex Innovation Centre and Wired Sussex – backing proven partners to deliver economic growth.”

The University and the Sussex Innovation Centre will, specifically, offer specialist support for new innovations, introduce new technical and management graduates to new businesses and offer possible investment in research and development of new product ideas.

Professor Michael Davies, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research at the University of Sussex, says: “The RGF project ties in well with the University’s strategic plans to contribute even more to the local economy and for the Innovation Centre to support a larger portfolio of innovative businesses.”

Businesses that apply for and are awarded funding will be supported by the programme’s Growth Accelerator service and specialists from and the University of Sussex and the Sussex Innovation Centre, along with the universities of Brighton and Chichester. Other partners include Wired Sussex, Brighton and Hove City Council, West Sussex County Council, Brighton and Hove Economic Partnership, Marine South East and Oxford Innovation.

The programme will also help small firms make the most of the highly-qualified workforce who live in the area by providing routes into jobs via a new placement scheme.

Ron Crank, Chief Executive of Coast to Capital says: "This is exciting news for our region as it is the first time we have ever received RGF funding. This will enable us to back those businesses that are investing in innovation and environmental technologies. It’s a real boost for growth and jobs - a vote of confidence in our region's businesses.”

John Peel, Chairman of Coast to Capital, says:  “It’s testament to the power of collaboration. It was a real team effort and that is a large part of what Coast to Capital is about – bringing people and organisations together to generate growth.” 

Notes for Editors

Full details of how to apply for funding will be made available in due course.  Visit the Coast to Capital web site for more information.

The Sussex Innovation Centre supports entrepreneurs, start-ups, growing companies and corporate innovators offering flexible, professional office space and a comprehensive range of in-house support services designed to assist during the vital early years of operation.

The Centre was conceived as the flagship development of the 'Sussex Academic Corridor' (SAC), a unique collaboration between public, academic and business sectors. Now wholly owned by the University of Sussex, the Centre continues to be committed to harnessing the economic potential of the extensive education and research resources available in the Sussex area.

University of Sussex Press office contacts: Maggie Clune and Jacqui Bealing. Tel: 01273 678 888. Email:

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Last updated: Wednesday, 17 July 2013