Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Wallis Room, Parkside, Chart Way, Horsham

Contact: Email:  Direct Line: 01403 215465

No. Item


Notes of previous meeting pdf icon PDF 86 KB

To receive the notes of the meeting held on 10 July 2019


The notes of the meeting held on 10 July were received.


Full Fibre Programme update

The Group will receive a presentation from the Director of Corporate Resources


Director of Corporate Resources gave a presentation to the Group on the county-wide programme to increase broadband speeds and connectivity by updating and expanding the fibre network in towns and rural areas throughout the county.


The Group were advised of the proposed routes and timescales for delivering the four projects that made up the programme: Rural, North and South, Coastal, and Horsham & Crawley.


Funding was primarily though the business rate pool and some LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership) funding.  The Director of Corporate Resources advised that the anticipated level of funding from business rates was still to be confirmed.   


The Group discussed the preferred business models for each project and tender processes over the coming months.  This was an ambitious large-scale programme and the Cabinet Member emphasised the importance of extending this service across the district. 


Economic Development update

To receive a presentation from the Head of Economic Development to update the Group on:


·         Horsham Business Improvement District (BID).  Progress on establishing this business led partnership for Horsham Town

·         Summary of small business grants awarded by LEAP (Local Enterprise and Apprenticeship Platform)

·         Summary of business enquiries that have been received by the Council

·         ‘Journey to Work’ is the Council’s long-running employability programme run in partnership with Jobcentre Plus. An update on targets and outcomes will be given


The Head of Economic Development gave a presentation to the Group to update them on some of the key projects undertaken by the department:


Horsham Business Improvement District (BID)   Since the last PDAG a Steering Group had been set up.  One of its roles was to advise businesses of the benefits of joining this business-led partnership for Horsham town.  Consultants had been appointed to help implement the ballot of town businesses. Should this be successful the BID could be established by August 2020.


LEAP Grants   The Economic Development Team had received 31 applications from small businesses seeking grants through the Local Enterprise Apprenticeship Platform. The Economic Development Team had secured £46,766 of funding for awards to be granted over three rounds, with the second round closing in December 2019 and the third round in April 2020.  A report will be brought to a future PDAG summarising the awards and analysing the extent to which they have helped the businesses.


Current business enquiries   The Group noted the number and type of business enquiries received by the Department over the last 12 months.  A majority of the 21 businesses looking for premises were already in the district and looking to expand.  The Group noted the importance of new development sites, including North of Horsham and Billingshurst, in fulfilling this identified need.  The department had also given advice in response to approximately 100 general business enquires.


The Head of Economic Development agreed to supply the Group with more detailed data about business premises enquiries, showing the anticipated number of jobs generated. 


Journey to Work  The Group received an update on this long running employability programme.  The Cabinet Member stated that the programme gave people confidence and support and was important in getting people into work.  Of the 81 jobseekers placed on the programme since April 2018, 30 had found employment.  The programme had support hubs in Billngshurst, Henfield, Southwater, Horsham and Storrington. 


Forward Plan Extract for the Local Economy Portfolio pdf icon PDF 106 KB

To note the Forward Plan extract for the Local Economy Portfolio


The forward plan extract was noted.