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Site to be bought by Council in bid to boost local economy

Released: Thursday, 09 July 2020

A 2.5 acre site is to be bought by Worthing Borough Council in a bid to boost the economy post-lockdown.

The Council is set to buy the redundant site at Southdownview Road, Worthing, the old EDF car park, and plans to create 22 light industrial units to create an economic and jobs boost for the area.

The move comes as the Council launched its And Then programme aimed at helping communities bounce back from the Covid pandemic impact on the borough.

In line with the pledges in And Then it has moved to intervene and buy the site, construct units and manage the premises itself to avoid it possibly becoming mothballed if it was in the hands of the private developer market amid current uncertainties.

A report to Adur & Worthing Council's Joint Strategic Committee highlights the lack of affordable industrial premises in the borough which hampers companies' expansion plans or even forces them to look elsewhere. Up to 47 jobs could be created on the site it says.

The Council would also benefit from an annual revenue stream and business rate contributions.

Worthing Borough Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration, Cllr Kevin Jenkins, said:

“I’m delighted we are looking to buy this site because we can bring real impetus into its development.

“We promised we would lead from the front in the fight to recover from the economic and social effects of the pandemic and this is one example of how we are going to do just that.”

In total the Council has earmarked £5.8m for the purchase of the site and construction of the industrial units with the money coming from its Strategic Property Investment Fund, set up to help fund vital services through investment in property across the UK.

A full commercial investigation into the site's potential is to be carried out before the Council commits to the project but the report points out it already has around 500 assets its owns around the borough and 300 tenancies so it has experience in managing similar projects.

See also: “And Then ...” Bouncing back in post pandemic Adur and Worthing

(PR20-079)

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