Adur & Worthing Councils today sent out a powerful message that they are backing a bounce back of the local economy with a range of initiatives.

In total the Councils’ Joint Strategic Committee (JSC), voted through 12 measures in a single meeting which aim to give a post-lockdown boost to construction, retail, the environment and health.

Among the projects voted on were plans for the establishment of high powered Citizens’ WiFi, the construction of a new NHS health hub, the procurement of electric vehicle charging points, decontamination work at the site of Decoy Farm in Worthing for industrial use, the widening of Widewater Bridge in Lancing and major enhancement works on Portland Road in Worthing town centre.

Leader of Worthing Borough Council, Cllr Dan Humphreys, said, ‘Obviously our economies have taken a severe blow during lockdown, the full implications of which we won’t know for some time.

However we will do whatever we can to help our communities recover and these projects are ambitious in scope, ranging from clean growth initiatives to the promotion of new business, and show we and our partners are serious in leading from the front to promote a bounce back.’

Leader of Adur District Council, Cllr Neil Parkin, said, ‘We want to join with others in rebuilding confidence in our local economies and these initiatives begin to address that.

Some we’ve been working on for a while and others are new but we are determined to bring real impetus to all of the schemes. I want to see us being bold in vision and speedy in delivery.’

In the coming months the Councils’ have pledged to keep initiatives aimed at rebuilding business and community confidence coming. Last night at the meeting of the JSC the Executive of both Councils voted to:

  • Approve a £3.7m budget to create a Councils’-owned Citizen Wifi network using ultrafast internet access across public buildings and spaces putting Adur and Worthing in really strong positions to innovate in high street renewal, tourism, creative and digital arts, local business growth and to provide essential access to the digitally excluded.
  • Adopt a comprehensive Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan including the creation of new cycle and walking paths after a public consultation revealed high levels of support from the public.
  • Work with West Sussex County Council to identify sites in Councils’ owned sites in Adur and Worthing for the installation of Electric Vehicle charging stations widely accessible network across the county
  • Commit to decontamination work, funding by almost £5m from the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership, at the former landfill site at Decoy Farm in Worthing to prepare for the creation of new employment opportunities
  • Contribute more than £100,000 to a scheme to widen the Widewater Bridge in Lancing to improve access for cyclists, pedestrians and the disabled.
  • To fund a major renovation of the Buckingham Street multi-storey car park costing more than £4m to create improved parking and a longer life span for the facility as plans to demolish the Grafton Car Park in the town centre to create retail and employment opportunities move forward.
  • To move to the development stage of the £34m Worthing Integrated Care Centre to be built on the Town Hall car park providing state-of-the-art NHS primary care services under one roof. (see picture attached)
  • To deliver a £600,000 scheme to landscape Portland Road making it more shopper friendly with tree planting and possible alfresco refreshments opportunities.

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