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Government scheme to create 1,700 jobs in East Sussex

More than than 1,700 jobs are expected to be created thanks to a £5.7m funding boost for East Sussex.

Bexhill, Eastbourne and Hailsham will benefit from the expansion of the Government’s Growth Deal scheme.

The latest round of funding includes £2.6 million to improve road links to the new business park being created in North East Bexhill, close to the Bexhill to Hastings Link Road site, which will also open up land for the development of 400 new homes.

The cash boost, to be delivered between 2016 and 2021, is part of a £46.1 million investment resulting from a successful bid for Growth Deal funding by the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP).

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Lydd airport plans: exclusive TV interview with new boss

The expansion programme will start in the next few months Credit: PA

The new boss of Lydd Airport in Kent has revealed plans for major expansion - and how they are now working with former opponents of the scheme to minimise any environmental damage.

In his first TV interview about the future of Lydd - rebranded London Ashford Airport - Charles Buchannan says the expansion programme will start - in the next few months - with a runway extension and, later, a new passenger terminal as it hopes to eventually handle half a million people every year.. Iain McBride reports. He also spoke to Rolph Williams from the RSPB

Plans for the future of Bognor Regis

Artist’s impression of the Sir Richard Hotham Project’s proposed regeneration for Bognor Regis Credit: Maxwell Communications

Plans are being unveiled next week that will see the physical, cultural and economic transformation of one of the South Coast’s most well-known and best-loved seaside resorts.

Private and commercial residents of the coastal town of Bognor Regis in West Sussex are being invited to view and give feedback on plans by the ‘Sir Richard Hotham Project Limited’, before they are submitted for planning permission to Arun District Council at the beginning of next month.

The proposed development will transform the Regis Centre into a stunning seaside development of shops, restaurants, hotel and apartments with an amazing boardwalk and gardens for the public to use all year round. Hothamton car park will become an iconic, purpose-built theatre and hotel complex including a conference centre named after nationally acclaimed, local author and playwright, Simon Brett.

Dignitaries, local officials and media representatives are being invited to a preview of the public consultation at Pierpoint House, 1 Waterloo Square, Bognor Regis, PO21 1TE at 3pm on Monday 26th January, where architects, representatives of the consortium, working partners and Simon Brett will be available for interview.

Members of the public will then be welcomed to view the exhibition of architectural plans and artists impressions for the rest of the week as follows:

  • Tuesday 27th and Wednesday 28th January between 10am and 7pm

  • Thursday 29th and Friday 30th January between 10am and 5pm

  • Saturday 31st January between 10am - 4pm.

"Our aim is to bring a new era of economic prosperity to Bognor Regis with a wide and varied level of high quality entertainment, together with a stunning board-walk development overlooking the sea front. There have been a number of proposed plans over the past thirty years involving public money and joint projects, but we now have private investment in place that will allow a long overdue regeneration of Bognor Regis to fulfil the town’s tremendous potential."

– Thomas Elliott, Leader of the consortium

1,500 pupils to visit 'Careers Fest' in Oxford

The previous Oxford City Learning Careers Fest took place in 2014

The MINI car plant at Cowley in Oxford is hosting a two-day jobs fair to introduce teenagers to the world of work after they leave school.

The fifth annual Oxford City Learning Careers Fest will feature 50 exhibitors. The firms are offering chances for school pupils aged 14 - 18 to explore potential job and career opportunities. The organisers 'Oxford City Learning' (OCL) have invited 1,500 children from schools across Oxfordshire to the event.

"With Oxfordshire's Strategic Economic Plan indicating that up to 75,000 new jobs could be created in the county between 2014 and 2031, this event will showcase a host of exciting employment opportunities over the next few years, together with the types and levels of qualifications required.

"As in previous years, we'll be encouraging students visiting to 'have a go' at the range of activities run by the exhibitors, who will also provide information and advice to help young people understand and consider a full range of career pathways including apprenticeships, further and higher education and employment."

– Alison Robb-Webb, OCL Project Director

Report finds Portsmouth is top city for jobs growth

Portsmouth has enjoyed one of the biggest increases in jobs in the country, says a new report.

The Cities Outlook 2015 report, from the Centre for Cities thinktank, says jobs in the Portsmouth area increased by 18,800 between 2004 and 2013, or 9.2%.

This was the sixth highest increase in the country.

The report was welcomed by the Leader of Portsmouth City Council, Cllr Donna Jones.

"This report shows that Portsmouth and its surrounding area are doing extraordinarily well, particularly given the tough conditions in recent times," she said. "It's a real tribute to the hard work and drive of local employers and their workers.

"This is a great place to do business and to find success.

"The growth is in part down to the area's push to support high-tech manufacturing and advanced engineering, particularly in the defence industries.

"Growth in these sectors is something the council is working hard to accelerate, along with other public and private sector organisations in the area.

"The new Centre for Maritime Intelligent Systems on Portsdown Hill, and the city's bid for a University Technical College, are both major steps to ensure continued growth."

The report, released today (Mon) defines Portsmouth as an area including Fareham, Gosport and Havant boroughs as well as the city itself.

It says private sector jobs in the area increase by 4,300, or 2.9%, between 2012 and 2013, putting Portsmouth 13th out of 63 other UK locations.

It also says real wages increased by 4.4% between 2013 and 2014, putting Portsmouth in sixth place.

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Thousands of homeless children this Christmas

More than 6,700 children in the South will be homeless this Christmas, according to new government figures, 13% more than last year.

Charity Shelter warns that the high cost of living is making it harder for families to keep a roof over their heads. Many of those affected will spend the festive period in cramped temporary accommodation, such as hostels or bed and breakfasts.

  1. David Johns (@davidjohns_itv)

First rush hour at "freeflow" Dartford Crossing

The Dartford Crossing in Kent faced its first major challenge this morning since collection of tolls at the site was removed over the weekend and replaced by a numberplate recognition charging system.

Critics say the charges should be abolished too - and many agree that the only real way to smooth out traffic over the Thames is to build another crossing entirely. But Monday's rush hour largely went without a hitch as "free flow charging" came into effect.

David Johns reports, speaking to businessman Chris Billing, Dartford Crossing Project Manager Nigel Gray, Natalie Chapman from the Freight Transport Association, and Dartford MP Gareth Johnson.

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