Greater Brighton Economic Board


10.00am 19 July 2022


Hybrid Meeting (Zoom) & Council Chamber, Hove Town Hall




Present: Councillor Mac Cafferty (Chair) Appich, Ash-Edwards, Gunner, Cooper, Jones, Nicholson and Parkin


Business Partners: Sue Baxter, Andrew Green, Prof Humphris, Dean Orgill, Andrew Swayne







1             Ratification of Chair


1.1         Geoff Raw read the following statement:


“At its meeting on 26 April 2022, the Board agreed to a number of recommendations as to its Operating Principles, one being the process by which the Chair of the Board would be nominated for the 2022/23 term.  Since the previous meeting, a confidential nomination and voting process was undertaken in accordance with that agreement Councillor Mac Cafferty was nominated by fellow Board Members to the role of Chair of the Board for the 2022/23 municipal year”.


1.2         The Board unanimously agreed to appoint Councillor Mac Cafferty as Chair of the Board for the 2022/23 municipal year.




2             Procedural Business


2a       Declarations of substitutes


2.1         Prof. Baxter was present as substitute for David Maguire. 


2b       Declarations of interests


2.2      There were none. 


2c       Exclusion of the press and public


2.3      In accordance with Section 100A of the Local Government Act 1972 (“the Act”), the Board considered whether the public should be excluded from the meeting during consideration of any item of business on the grounds that it is likely in view of the business to be transacted or the nature of the proceedings, that if members of the public were present during it, there would be disclosure to them of confidential information as defined in Section 100A (3) of the Act.


2.4     Resolved- That the press and public not be excluded.




3             Minutes of the previous meeting


3.1         Resolved- That the minutes of the previous meeting held on 26th April 2022 be approved as the correct record.




4             Chair's Communications


4.1         The Chair provided the following communications:


Transition to net zero work

·         The Board already making great progress on building resilience, sustainability and carbon reduction - energy and water plans, GB 10 pledges agreed in 2020.

·         The next priority is to develop the Blue/Green Investment Plan, which would include a co-ordinated pipeline of investment projects that support transitioning the city region to a net zero economy. It would form the strategic narrative and each of the projects in the pipeline would have an outline business case in readiness to pitch for investment. It would also act as our pitch to central government.

·         We will provide strong support the work of Hydrogen Sussex, which continues to raise the profile of our City region and wider Sussex area.

·         We have also started work on looking at food across the City Region.  The results of a food scoping exercise will be presented today and I hope this will lead to the development of a regional food strategy as we look to ensure the supply of food for our residents is secure, sustainable and affordable.

·         The cost-of-living crisis that the country is grappling with has made the affordability element even more of a priority.  It has become urgent and we must act now.  Not only with regards food, but with our wider net zero plans, as delivering on our energy and water plans will also make energy and water more affordable for our residents.



·         Government has set out its ambitions to level-up the regional disparities across the UK.  Officers across the City Region have been working hard to develop Investment Plans for the UK Shared Prosperity Fund and these will be submitted to Government in the coming weeks.

·         Once submitted we will explore the shared priorities across the Plans and look to collaborate across local authorities when deploying interventions beyond boundaries would result in improved outcomes.

·         Some of our Local Authorities have also been preparing bids for Round 2 of the Levelling-up Fund.  These innovative bids propose interventions that will level-up within local authority areas, and they have my full support.

·         Devolving powers and resources away from central government is a key theme within the levelling up agenda.

·         Since achieving the City Deal in 2014, Greater Brighton partners have really seized the opportunity to show leadership and a collaborative approach to tacking the key challenges facing the city region, some of which I have already mentioned.  We have shown we can deliver and will continue to do so.

·         Government sees transitioning to a low carbon as a key driver in levelling-up the UK, and the work we are doing on our own journey to net zero places us very much on the front-foot.  By working with Greater Brighton, Government can start to realise its ambitions and deliver on its promises, and we will present a strong case for investment in our region.

·         Under the levelling up agenda there may be an opportunity to seek extended devolution powers for the city region.  Discussions with partners will need to follow.


Creative Industries

·         The creative industries sector is crucial to the success of our city region economy.  Like transitioning to a low carbon economy, the creative industries have been identified by Government as having a significant role to play in the levelling up agenda.

·         Our sector strengths put us in s strong position, but the sector needs support to identify opportunities for the entire city region and for it to achieve its true potential.

·         To that end, in April this Board agrees to support development of a Creative Industries Strategy for 2022-25.  Against the dual backdrop of Government starting to roll out it’s levelling up plans, and the cost-of-living crisis, it’s essential that we move ahead at pace with this work.


New Website

·         The new website is now live and contains all our new design language.

·         The work on both is a collaboration between the Communication Team, GBEB Business Managers and two creative companies based within the City Region.

·         The new look branding and website are refreshing and re-energising. I think they can help us reset Greater Brighton as we embark on a new period focusing on the transition to net zero work, supporting our creative industries and renewing our inward investment efforts.

·         The new Greater Brighton brand is beautifully simple but is also full of activity. Is meant to crackle with purpose, and says we are serious about our work but playful and dynamic. By emphasising the ON of Greater Brighton it says simply that we are ‘on it’, ready to move quickly to respond to the challenges of the day and, importantly, ready to meet the requirements of those who would come to invest time, money and lives here.

·         Inward investment with both brand and website is a key part of our function and no serious organisation can do this without the right branding. It is not just a nice add-on - it is central to what we do and who we are.



·         Coast to Capital took a pause from Board membership earlier this year, but I am pleased to report that our LEP colleagues are keen to once again play an integral role in this Board, and we very much look forward to welcoming them back at our next meeting in October.




5             Levelling Up Agenda


5.1         The Board considered a report of the Chair, Greater Brighton Officer Programme Board that provided an update on the Levelling Up agenda and requested approval for a series of next steps.


5.2         In response to a question from Andrew Swayne, Max Woodford clarified that the process of sharing prosperity plans would demonstrate any gaps in funding, but it was also the case that the overall funding was limited compared to the ESF programme.


5.3         Resolved-


1)            That the Board endorses all Levelling Up Fund Round 2 bids submitted by Greater Brighton authorities (appendices 1 & 2) and agrees that the Chair of the Board should write a letter of support in relation to each bid.


2)            That the Board notes that the bids outlined in appendices 1 & 2 have the potential to create a new pipeline of Board-backed projects for the city region.


3)            That the Board agrees that members should be encouraged to work together on the delivery of UKSPF interventions where such interventions will be more effective on a geographic scale which is wider than an individual local authority’s area.


4)            That that Board agrees its local authority members to reflect 2.s in all UKSPF Investment Plans they submit.


5)            That the Board agrees officers should continue to consider opportunities for the Greater Brighton functional economic area arising out of the Levelling Up White Paper




6             Transition to Net Zero Action Plan


6.1         The Board considered a report of the Chair, Greater Brighton Officer Programme Board that sought to bring together those workstreams to articulate a single action plan on Climate Change, Sustainability and Resilience and make recommendations to progress that going forward.


6.2         Board Members commended the report and expressed a desire to build in measurement tools to evidence impact. It was suggested that the Infrastructure Panel could review individual workstreams to consider whether they could be accelerated.


6.3         Resolved-


1)           That the Board agree to bring all of the workstreams referred to in paragraphs 1.1 and 1.2 above into a Transition to Net Zero Action Plan.


2)           The Board agrees that new workstreams that relate to the environment, climate change, sustainability and resilience should be added to the Transition to Net Zero Action Plan.


3)           That the Board agrees that regular progress updates will come back to the Board on all elements within the Action Plan.




7             Retrofit Taskforce


7.1         The Board considered a presentation from Ian Fitzpatrick on the work and findings of the Retrofit Taskforce.


7.2         In response to a question from Geoff Raw, Ian Fitzpatrick explained that the work of the Taskforce had enabled options on short-term spend where expenditure would make significant difference as well as areas for medium to long term expenditure.


7.3         In response to a query from Councillor Mac Cafferty, Ian Fitzpatrick clarified that a presentation had been given by officers at a Local Government Association fringe event and that had received a very positive response from Local Authority’s.


7.4         In reply to a question from Councillor Appich, Ian Fitzpatrick explained that more work needed to be undertaken about retrofitting leaseholder properties, namely how that would be financed and encouraged.




8             Greater Brighton Food Scoping


5.1         The Board considered a report of the Chair, Greater Brighton Officer Programme Board that presented findings from a scoping existing policy and partnerships in the Greater Brighton city region. The scoping findings offered the basis of a future Greater Brighton Food Plan, a clear approach to collaborative work and a pathway to implement Government Food Strategy.


5.2         Resolved-


1)           That the Board agrees to the next phase of work which includes:


·         Identification of a mechanism to co-ordinate action and feed progress into the GB10 pledges


·         Advice on alignment of policies, metrics and action focused on food system transformation by LA areas


·         Budget allocation to create investment plans for infrastructure, business support and training (£15,000 allocation from GBEB). This would cover specialist support to properly cost and develop investment plans for the city region food system


·         A call to business, education and food partnerships to support food system transformation


·         Seeking partner updates on how food system innovations are being embedded into practice




9             Greater Brighton Investment Programme Update


Resolved- That the Board note the report and the Investment Programme Update at Appendix 1.





The meeting concluded at 11.55am