As I sit down to write this year’s Christmas column, I know that for many of us, the festive season might not have started as smoothly as we would have hoped, with the disruption we have experienced across our train services, postal delays and from the icy weather. Despite the hurdles this year, I hope that you’ll all still be able to join friends and family to celebrate the festive season. If you’re in need of some ideas, why not check out the Christmas Market on North & East Street, or the festive canal cruise with the Wey & Arun Canal Trust? There’s something on offer for everyone in the Chichester district.
Setting the holidays aside for a moment, there’s been plenty going on in and around our part of the world. First and foremost, there was some fantastic news that the Chichester College Group would be receiving a £5.8 million funding boost to deliver improved skills training facilities at their campuses. I’ve long been an advocate for getting more real-world, practical skills into our classrooms, and it’s amazing to see that continuing at Chichester College.
Earlier in the month, I also touched base with members of Chichester District Council (CDC) to learn more about a new partnership being formed to target homelessness in the patch. CDC will be working with the organisation Beam throughout next year to offer tailored support to those most vulnerable in our communities, and I’m sure this will make a huge impact to those most in need of extra support.
And finally, just on our doorstep, this month saw the greenlight given for the Solent Freeport, a multi-million-pound Government initiative to grow investment in our maritime economy and create more high-value jobs in our region. In short, there’s been little sign of any winding down before the festive break, with lots more still in the pipeline as we look towards the New Year.
Until then, I’d like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas.