Brighton & Hove Bus & Coach Company [part of the Go Ahead Group] has announced plans to move its Conway Street depot to the outskirts of the city which will free up the bus garage and surrounding area for major 2.4 hectare redevelopment.
The new state-of-the-art bus depot with 2,790 square metres of office space would be built on the site of the Argus newspaper which is expected to move back into the city centre a decade after leaving it.
The bus company is one of only five Brighton employers with more than a thousand staff and 450 of its 1,250 workforce are based at the Conway Street site. The move to Hollingbury will bring substantial employment to that part of the city, including skilled engineers; IT and other specialists.
The company recruited 70 new drivers in the first 20 weeks of 2012 which resulted in a net increase of 55 jobs. The move to Hollingbury will allow more recruitment to take place as the bus network continues to expand and frequencies of service increase.
Terms have been agreed with the city council for the purchase of a long lease on the site but the move is still subject to a change of use and a planning application is expected shortly.
ECONOMIC PARTNERSHIP COMMENT
This represents the sort of excellent strategic use of land that the Partnership has been promoting for some time [see earlier story]. It allows one the city’s largest employers to expand and continue to deliver the multi-award winning bus service that is delivering much of Brighton & Hove’s sustainable transport plan and at the same time frees up valuable urban, brownfield space for a potentially transformative redevelopment.
All concerned - the bus company, the local authority and the owners of the land adjacent to the bus depot - are to be applauded for their vision.
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Brighton & Hove Bus & Coach Co