Agenda item - Chair's Communications

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Agenda item

Chair's Communications


12.1      The Chair provided the following communications:


On behalf of the Board, I would like to welcome Andy Green.  Andy has recently taken up the role as Interim CEO of Greater Brighton Metropolitan College on a secondment from the Chichester College Group, where he has been Executive Principal and Deputy CEO.  The FE sector faces a significant challenge; against the backdrop of increased financial pressures our FE providers have a crucial role to play in reskilling and upskilling city region workers who’s jobs and careers have been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.  We look forwards to working with the sector over the coming months, and this Board will make the strongest possible call on Government to deliver the essential funding that our FE institutions need.


Formerly known as the Central Research Laboratory, Plus X was one of the early projects in the Greater Brighton Pipeline and received £7.7m in LGF funding.  It’s great to see that this exciting and innovating co-working space open in the summer. Despite challenging conditions due to Covid-19, which resulted in a slower start than anticipated, the building currently has around 100 memberships on flexible plans.   On 1 October Plus X launched its scale up innovation programme, The Brighton Research Innovation Technology Exchange (BRITE).  BRITE is a business innovation programme for ambitious and established businesses primarily based in the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership region.


The Annual Report for the One Public Estate Programme was due to be presented at this Board Meeting.  The current priority of One Public Estate Programme Manager is to co-ordinate a response to the latest funding call, which is running through this autumn. It has therefore been decided that the Annual Report will be pushed back to the January 2021 Board meeting. 


At our last Board meeting we agreed the Greater Brighton Energy and Water Plans.  Here is a brief update on some of the innovative projects being delivered as part of the Energy Plan; 


·       The new Greater Brighton Hydrogen Group is creating partnerships for a long-term strategy to deliver hydrogen-fuelled transport and heating and the production of ‘green’ hydrogen. A Hydrogen Hub is included in Coast to Capital LEP’s forward plan.

·       The University of Sussex is leading on a Greater Brighton Innovation Forum, with support from the University of Brighton, to deliver regular funded workshops throughout the year to keep us at the forefront of new thinking on Energy and Water, and investment and business models.

·       EDF Energy launched its Future Heat project in Sussex in September inviting off-gas grid homes with oil or LPG to take advantage of a funded Air Source Heat Pump with Smart Controls installed alongside the existing boiler. The next step will be to invite homes to join the SmartHubs SLES project which will explore potential for monetising aggregated heat flexibility services.

·       Sussex local authorities promoted Solar Together, a group-buying scheme for home-owners to purchase solar panels cheaply. Over 4,500 individuals had registered by the deadline of 6 October.


On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Clare Mulholland, Greater Brighton Business Manager for her support and contribution to the Board. Clare leaves us in December to join the Cities and Growth Unit within the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and this will be her last Board meeting.  Clare’s new role covers the Coast to Capital region and so we look forward to working with her in the future”.


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