Julie Kapsalis is Chair of the Coast to Capital LEP and Managing Director at Chichester College Group. She is also a Coastal West Sussex Partnership Board member.

We spoke to Julie to hear more about her role and what she enjoys about working in the Coastal West Sussex region and hear her advice for those looking to start a business in the area.

Hi Julie, what does your job entail?

I Chair the Board of Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership. LEPs are local business led partnerships between the public, private and third sectors that play a central role in determining local economic priorities and undertaking activity and investments to drive economic growth and the creation of jobs. 

I am also Managing Director of Chichester College Group with responsibility for a portfolio of commercial businesses including a chain of childcare nurseries, examination board, commercial and leisure facilities, and international education. We have campuses in Chichester, Worthing, Brinsbury, Crawley and Haywards Heath. I also lead our employer engagement.

What are the top five things you love about working/spending time in the coastal West Sussex region?

1. The View of Chichester Cathedral from my office window.

2. The amazing range of local food and drink – I love supporting local growers and products

3. The costume collection at Worthing museum – a world class collection.

4. Taking my children to Flip Out in Chichester.

5. The history and heritage – I love discovering new places and destinations. There are so many hidden gems, which is a huge appeal to our international students

What, in your opinion, makes the region a good place to do business?

There is a genuine desire to collaborate and support each other. I was Chair of Chichester Chamber of Commerce for three years and it was great to bring members together to share best practice, opportunities and socialise.

What advice would you give to someone looking to start a business in the region?

Get involved with local networking groups and the LEP’s Local Growth Hub; this also offers an excellent signposting service to other organisations and initiatives like the Business Hothouse Programme

What would you like to see change in the region to help your business grow?

Even more collaboration between organisations offering business support, especially linking public and private sector support programmes.

What tips would you give to someone thinking of visiting the region for a holiday?

Add more days to your trip as there’s more than you think to do!