It might be only a few weeks old, but 2019 is already looking like one of the most exciting yet in the eight years since Coast to Capital was formed.

We are announcing today the outcome of the LEP review, which confirms that we meet the high standards that Government expects of us and are creating new relationships and partnerships across London and the South East.

 

We are in a great place to build our profile and influence with the Government, on the back of Gatwick 360 which we published 6 months ago. Today’s announcement confirms our growing influence and deepening relationships on the back of this strategy.

 

With London, as we develop a joint industrial strategy for the London to Gatwick corridor.  This confirms our area as a partner of choice for the London LEP and the importance of Gatwick airport for the London economy.

 

With Croydon, as we capitalise on the key role that it plays both for our region and for Greater London.

 

With Gatwick Airport, whose draft masterplan for the airport sets out ambitious plans for its growth within existing infrastructure.

 

And with the wider South-East, as we collaborate more and more on key issues such as energy, transport and innovation to build the profile of our region in the national debate.

 

All of this sets the context for driving forward and deepening the already strong relationships within our region, as we develop a Local Industrial Strategy which will underpin the investment that we need to meet our full potential.

 

The Board met last week and endorsed a new approach to delivering this work, based on the principle that we should succeed together with our partners. This encapsulates the role that Coast to Capital plays in supporting the aims of political leaders, the education sector and businesses across the region.

 

It reinforces that our success is based on partnership, trust, collaboration, challenge and advocacy for the towns and cities which make up our area.  It underpins the personal networks that we build to excel in our work.  And it reinforces the respect and trust that we need to build with our partners in order to deliver our vision for the area: that it should be the UK’s most dynamic, innovative and successful region.

 

The spring promises to be a very exciting time:

 

  • Our partners’ update in Bognor Regis on 28 February will bring key people together to update on progress we are making;

 

 

  • We will be recruiting into new posts to support this work, with our first recruitment campaign, and developing new working relationships with our local partners to get access to their expertise;

 

  • We will discuss progress in this work with local political leaders at our Joint Committee in March

 

  • We move to our new premises after spring

 

  • We start work with our new charity partner, the Marine Conservation society – to help provide more of a focus on the environmental challenges that our region faces 

 

It is, as ever, a great privilege to work with such a dedicated and professional team of colleagues both in Coast to Capital and in our close partners. 

 

2019 will be a year of challenge, growth and achievement for the organisation.  There will be a particular focus on supporting and developing all staff as we grow within our roles.  We are putting a particular priority on our well-being and mental health, in what can often be a demanding work environment.

 

I look forward to going on this journey with you.

 

With best wishes

 

Jonathan Sharrock

Chief Executive, Coast to Capital

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