the Business Forum and
the Economic Partnership
in Brighton & Hove
Homepage    BCRP Intranet    Funding    Events    Knowledgebase    Links    About us     Contact us
Key projects



Workforce development 


Business &

Property &
Development sites




Consultation opportunities

Brighton & Hove Business Forum
8-11 Pavilion Buildings, Brighton, BN1 1EE
Tel: 01273 735442
Email: info@brighton

© Brighton & Hove
Business Forum

News - 9 September 2010
Nick Clegg. A slip of the tongue?

BBC Radio 4 Clegg interview puts dampener on southern LEPs

In a BBC interview with John Humphreys this morning on the Today programme, did Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg make it clear that little of the government’s Regional Growth Fund [RGF] is likely to head south?

The interview was prefaced by new research from Experian into which areas of the country will be most resilient to the forthcoming public sector spending cuts. The researchers looked at data for 324 district and unitary authorities across four broad areas - business, people, place and community and considered a range of factors, one of which was the reliance on public sector employment.

When pushed by Humphreys to elaborate on government plans to stimulate private sector job growth as the public sector shrinks, Nick Clegg cited the £1bn [over two years] Regional Growth Fund [RGF] which he said was, “specifically targeted only at those areas that have become over-reliant on the public sector” [our italics].

While it was always known that a function of the RGF was to rebalance the UK economy, this is the first time that a minister has said that it would only be used in areas that have high public sector employment.

So far, the RGF is the sole source of funding that has been identified to support Local Enterprise Partnerships [LEPs] which are intended to be the engines of job creation and economic prosperity in local economies [see earlier stories].

Looking at the map of public sector employment by region this bodes ill for the south east which, together with the east of England, has the lowest average public sector employment at 16.8% compared to the north east and north west on 25.1% and 22.3% respectively. Individual towns and cities have much higher rates. For example the highest rate is 52.6% found in Castle Morpeth in Northumberland.

Of course LEPs will be local not regional and it is important to drill down below the regional headlines. Some places in the south east, like Hastings in East Sussex with 42.6% public sector employment, are comparable with many northern towns. The Experian research also suggests that Hastings has the 11th highest total number of vulnerable employment sectors, and hardly any valuable office space, which may have figured in East Sussex’s decision to go it alone with its proposal for a single county LEP [see earlier story].

Brighton & Hove has a public sector employment rate of 30.3% and it has joined forces with West Sussex and Croydon to form a LEP [see earlier story]. Croydon has a similar rate to Brighton & Hove but Crawley in West Sussex has just 11.7% of workers in the public sector.


If Nick Clegg really means that RGF funds will only go to areas of high public sector employment it doesn't place Brighton & Hove in a particularly strong position.

The consultation on the RGF only finished on Monday, and there were around 350 responses, which the mandarins must still be wading through. Can Nick Clegg really mean that the RGF will only go to localities where public sector employment is high? Let's hope it was a slip of the tongue.

Read related items on:
Local Enterprise Partnership
Clegg, Nick

Browse our business Knowledgebase or search by keyword


20 March 2018
Brighton names most entrepreneurial city AND second best for student happiness according to Fresh Student Living
19 March 2018
A Meeting with Chris Fox, Lib Dem Peer - Why Business Matters 14 March 2018
Better Business for All Event with BEIS 7 March 2018
Brighton celebrates women in tech as Spring Forward festival returns for a fourth year 6 March 2018
Six months of success for BTN BikeShare 2 March 2018
Sustainability in Action masterclasses for Sussex businesses 2 March 2018
Doing Business in China comes to Brighton 1 March 2018
Brighton & Hove Chamber of Commerce presents: Protecting your brand- a guide for fast growth businesses 1 March 2018
Long haul passengers boost local economy and jobs, according to new Gatwick report on the 'Visitor Economy' 28 February 2018
Save time reporting crime 27 February 2018
Warren Morgan Resigns from Brighton & Hove City Council 23 February 2018
Brighton Technology Company, Paxton Ranks in Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For 23 February 2018
Greater Brighton's Commercial Property Database 22 February 2018
SE-ASSIST - Launch of Loan Capital in Greater Brighton 19 February 2018
House Price update Q4 2017 19 February 2018
What would you do in a crisis? 19 February 2018
The investment journey for high growth entrepreneurs 9 February 2018
Make Change Count 2018 - helping rough sleepers in Brighton & Hove 8 February 2018
Brighton Technology Company Paxton Announces Recipients of New Scholarship Programmein Association with the University of Brighton 8 February 2018
Cyber London Accelerator Invites Summer 2018 Entries 8 February 2018
Innovate UK Launches Strand 2 Emerging and Enabling Technologies Sector Competition 8 February 2018
Success In Sussex As Food And Drink Heroes Crowned Winners 8 February 2018
UK Games Fund - Fourth Round Open to Applications 8 February 2018
Innovate UK & Prince's Trust Launch Young Innovators' Programme 6 February 2018
Brighton & Hove Food Partnership launches 'Kit Out The Kitchen' crowdfunding campaign 2 February 2018
Brighton & Hove Council and Crest Nicholson win £15m government funding to kickstart King Alfred project 1 February 2018
Could a Utilise Plus Programme grant help you? 1 February 2018
Shoreham Port Facilitates Huge Operation 18 January 2018
IUK Announces Collaborative R&D Funding for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles Simulation 18 January 2018
Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Launches $1 Billion Corporate Venture Capital Fund for Next Generation Mobility 17 January 2018
PORTlife #17 Newsletter Out Now 17 January 2018
Over £19,000 raised for Burning the Clocks 2017 11 January 2018
Brighton Main Line Improvement Project: Planned closures in October 2018 and February 2019 11 January 2018
Come on in! Fairtrade Fortnight 2018 8 January 2018
Sussex Business SkillSnap targets hospitality industry skill shortage 3 January 2018
House Price update 2017 Q3 20 December 2017
£14.35 Million European Regional Development Fund Launched 19 December 2017
Leading the way - Sustainability in Action masterclass 15 December 2017
Brighton is among the best places to start a business due to their strong growth factors 15 December 2017
GTR consultation ends 20th Dec 2017