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News - 5 April 2005
Circus Street

Regeneration to create thousands of jobs

Three major new regeneration plans for Brighton & Hove look set to attract multi-million pound investment and create or protect thousands of jobs.

The sites under review are earmarked for mixed use including educational facilities, homes (including 40% affordable) and offices. The largest of the projects could provide a campus-style mixed-use development on land to the rear of Edward Street, currently occupied by American Express. There is development potential for the creation of office accommodation for around 1200 people as a result of an estimated £150 million investment.

Nearby, the council is about to launch a plan with the University of Brighton to transform the old wholesale market in Circus Street into a new university library and education facilities plus homes, offices and space allocated for creative workshops. The office space alone would cost around £30 million and could accommodate around 800 jobs.

On both schemes the council would demand eco-friendly landmark buildings of a standard set by the city’s new Jubilee library. More than 200 townhouses and flats would be built on the two sites. The projects would include the provision of 40% affordable dwellings aimed at local people on the housing waiting list.

Meanwhile the council is also set to commission a masterplan for the site of East Brighton’s College of Media Arts (Comart), which closes at the end of summer term. Acceptable uses are seen as education, employment and leisure. It is hoped a new development on the site could be complete by September 2008.

In the shorter term, council officials are recommending councillors approve leasing existing Comart buildings to City College Brighton & Hove, free of charge, from September. This would enable the college to establish centres for performing arts and motor mechanics.

In the longer term the college wants the site to accommodate rapid expansion. Student numbers have increased from 11,000 to 17,000 in the last four years.

Both city centre schemes would be linked to the city’s proposed rapid transport system and park & ride services to minimise traffic generated. For each plan the city council, American Express and the University of Brighton would issue development briefs in April to attract potential private developers.

Following planning applications in early 2006, it is hoped that the Circus Street scheme would be occupied by Christmas 2007 and the Edward Street development in mid 2008.

Councillors are being asked to approve a go-ahead in three reports on the proposals at the Policy & Resources Committee on 13 April.

Deputy council leader Sue John said: “Local businesses and our universities are a significant economic asset to the city and a crucial part of a successful local economy. We are committed to supporting their aspirations for new commercial and academic facilities in the city."


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