Today’s Budget announcement by Rishi Sunak is a resounding call for business to invest in emerging technologies and innovation, and for our towns to state their case for funding.

The government today paved the way for businesses to build back stronger as part of an agenda that supports the UK’s world-leading progress in life sciences, clean technologies and quantum computing (a local specialism thanks to research at the University of Sussex). In Sussex, we must answer the call and seize the opportunity this Budget presents. Our region’s potential is already clear, with the launch of Hydrogen Sussex, our offshore wind capabilities, our contribution to sciences and our sophisticated horticulture sector.

We saw hope today for our region’s many tourism and hospitality businesses. We expect our local visitor economy to benefit from the investment in our cultural assets such as theatres, and the extension of the VAT cut and the furlough scheme.

We were keen to see a focus on towns in this Budget, and it delivered, with over £1 billion in funding promised for a further 45 towns in England through the Towns Fund. Towns in coastal West Sussex such as Worthing, Bognor Regis and Littlehampton must be contenders for this money. It is crucial that we overcome the North/South divide pandered to by politicians and make a strong case for funding. The upcoming white paper from the Coastal West Sussex Partnership will add to this by demonstrating the incredible potential of our region to lead the way in market innovations.

Henry Powell, Chairman, Coastal West Sussex Partnership