Blue Space at the Marine Workshops is the redevelopment of a stunning heritage site into a Maritime and Sustainable Technology hub in Newhaven and is set to reinvigorate the area’s industry and bring huge opportunities for jobs, training, and investment into the area.
This announcement follows three-years of extensive planning between National Maritime and the Newhaven Enterprise Zone, who together, designed and co-authored the successful bid that secured the £1.3m ‘Getting Building Fund’ from the South-East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) for the project, on behalf of Lewes District Council.
A further £2m investment by National Maritime (which operates the largest network for UK maritime SMEs) will see the conversion of the former UTC, a Grade-II listed building, ideally placed on the dockside, into an exciting, multi-functional site, that will attract investment and opportunity to this important town.
This disused educational facility will now be fully maximised by the local community and business as an education-led skills training centre with commercial workspace. It will provide training and education, commercial, office and public sector space, and attract investment from clean, green, and marine technology businesses. It will also play an integral role in helping establish Newhaven and the Southeast of England as a leading centre for the processing and marketing of seafood and aquaculture businesses, and to this aim, National Maritime have authored a further £25m bid, on behalf of Lewes District Council, to the Government’s ‘Levelling Up Fund’.
Plans for the hub also include a working fish market and auction, a signature seafood restaurant and hospitality training school, a national centre for marine social sciences, a fishing industry training school, and a maritime vocational high school. It will provide enterprise and innovation workspace and a conference centre with external hospitality space to support business and include an accredited analysis laboratory and food technology workshop for the seafood and aquaculture sector.
The hub will also be home to a host of public and private training specialists, delivering vocational and practical training, adult education and community learning and provide open spaces for community activities and functions.
Peter Green, Chief Executive, National Maritime, is a Newhaven Champion and Chair of the Fisheries Working Group (London & the Southeast), which is supported by the MP for Lewes Maria Caulfield, says,
“Blue Space at the Marine Workshops is the second of three National Maritime hubs created to serve London and the Southeast of England maritime industries and coastal communities, representing a total investment of circa £3.7m. For the past fifteen years we have worked tirelessly with industries, government, and communities to promote and develop excellence in all maritime activities, providing opportunities for the exchange of ideas and practices to deliver a sustainable programme of business support and community development through dedicated maritime hubs. We believe our proposed collaborative approach and collective investment for Newhaven will help promote cohesive development which will foster pride in the town and recognise its exceptional natural capital and its working fishing port and coastal connections. Our objective is to deliver growth for local business and create jobs for coastal communities, and our experience tells us that our plans here will help attract inward investment, ensuring Newhaven residents and the wider Sussex communities are the benefactors of the lasting economic and social legacy that together our partners will create.”