The Coast to Capital area covers a diverse and vibrant geography (London Borough of Croydon, East Surrey, Gatwick Diamond, Brighton & Hove, Lewes and West Sussex) which is reflected in the business community.

The area is composed of :-

  • 1.9 million people, of which 1.2 million are working aged
  • 79.1% are in employment
  • Coast to Capital has the 6th largest economy of all the LEPs
  • Gatwick Diamond area alone contributes 48% to our GVA
  • The rural ecomomy contributed 20% to our GVA
  • Contributes £49.7 billion gross value added (GVA) to the UK economy
  • 87,000 businesses in the area mainly SMEs
  • 818,000 jobs in the area
  • Key sectors: Creative, Digital and IT/Finance and Business Services/Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering/Health and Life Sciences


There are a number of local strengths, these include a creative, digital and IT cluster centred on Brighton, a large financial and business services sector, an innovative and highly productive advanced manufacturing and engineering sector, and a strong network of health and life science companies throughout the region.


The business base is strong, at 87,000 and growing, the rate of new start-ups is currently at its highest level in over a decade. The majority of our businesses are SMEs which are spread across the region and across wide ranging industries.


The M23 corridor is a key strength for the area, running from the creative and digital hub of Brighton on the coast, to Crawley and the multi-national headquarters located around Gatwick Airport in the heart of the region, and on to the strong service sector base in Croydon and its links into London.


Coast to Capital also has a large rural component, including the South Downs National Park and a number of Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, which contribute to high levels of quality of life and account for 20% of the area's economy.


For more economic data please visit our Research and Statistics section.



There are challenges to overcome however. Despite being the 6th largest LEP in the country our productivity is ranked 13th at £24,920 per head and a productivity gap is opening up between the Coast to Capital area and the wider South East region.


Despite the record levels of business start-ups we are ranked 35th for the number of businesses growing to £1m turnover within three years. Businesses in the area have higher than average skills shortage vacancies which is holding back their growth potential.


Furthermore house prices are increasingly out of reach for many people, making it hard to attract and retain skilled workers to the area. Lastly key transport routes on both rail and road are congested and in need of improvements to reduce the drag on productivity they cause.


Coast to Capital is committed to removing these barriers to growth to increase the prosperity of the local economy for all.

Overview of the Coast to Capital Area

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