Brighton & Hove has a strong, vibrant, healthy economy. Businesses, traders and opinion makers have worked hard and planned well to deal with the harshest consequences of the economic climate and have maintained the buoyancy of the local economy through some difficult times.

Our ability to attract investment and growth must be sustained to provide many of the things that make our city attractive. We need our economy to continue to succeed and must work in ways that are new, collaborative and exploit our assets. We have to make the best strategic use of our limited space, innovatively creating room for businesses to grow.

Good public and private sectors are better for having a strong, broad based economy. Barriers between the sectors are becoming more porous and efficiencies are being realised as both learn from each another.

Our very geography, compactness and proximity to our neighbours, a cheek-by-jowl cosiness that should thrive on good relations, is something we should exploit more strongly. The concept of a city region (a focus on the connected and functional economic area, not just administrative boundaries), takes this into account. It suggests that the combined clout of our region is something worth expressing and deploying. Sheltering under this umbrella will give us a broader reach and louder voice, profiting from an interdependent relationship and allowing us to move away from traditional funding arrangements.

We are fortunate because we have been open to this collaborative ethos for some time, having pursued a partnership approach that supports regeneration, encourages sustainable development and champions, for example, the revolutionary zeal of the digital economy