Release date: 15 December 2017
A West Sussex programme which is designed to transform local communities and provide better public services has received an additional funding boost.
One Public Estate West Sussex, brings together 22 organisations who are working together to look at how their collective assets can be used more efficiently and effectively. The aim of the programme is to improve services for residents and ensure the best value for money for taxpayers.
The programme, led by West Sussex County Council, involves public sector partner organisations, including district and borough councils, NHS, police, and West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service.
Louise Goldsmith, Leader of West Sussex County Council, said: “This is an exciting programme of work which is giving us a unique chance to look across all public services and estate to find ways of doing things better.
“By working together with our partners we can transform local services, generate local economic growth, and save money at the same time.”
The One Public Estate (OPE) West Sussex Partnership was awarded £350,000 government revenue support grant funding earlier this year for feasibility work to take place in the following areas:
• Chichester: Southern Gateway (led by Chichester District Council)
• Worthing: Centenary House (led by West Sussex County Council)
• Shoreham: Pond Road (led by West Sussex County Council)
• Burgess Hill: The Brow (led by Mid Sussex District Council)
• Crawley: town centre. (led by West Sussex County Council and Crawley Borough Council)
Now the programme has received an additional £100,000 to allow two projects in Horsham to be included:
• Horsham: Hurst Road regeneration scheme (led by Horsham District Council)
• Horsham: creation of a combined blue-light operational and training centre (led by West Sussex County Council)
Louise added: “By looking at the services we run and our public estate collaboratively we can not only free up much-needed land for the development of housing, commercial, and employment spaces, but also create new opportunities to save on running costs or generate income.
“There is a lot of work for us and our partners to do, but I am looking forward to seeing the difference this programme can make and I’m confident our residents will benefit greatly from the proposals which are now being worked on.”
A number of the sites which are being looked at currently have fire stations on. The County Council has stressed if an OPE West Sussex project includes a proposal to re-locate a fire station, it will be subject to public consultation. There will also be an assessment of community risks and the effect on emergency response standards, as well as the impact on retained firefighters, who must live or work close to the fire station when on call.
Louise added: “Any redevelopment of those sites would give the opportunity to provide more modern Fire and Rescue Service facilities in collaboration with blue-light partners and others, which would be of a greater benefit to the community.”
The County Council has said it will continue to work across the partnership to identify other potential programme opportunities in the county.