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Riding Sunbeams Solar Railways


Approval Status


Removed From GBF Programme

Delivery Status


Removed From GBF Programme

Expected Completion Date


Removed From GBF Programme

​The project will build and connect the world’s first megawatt scale community renewable solar energy plant directly powering the direct current railways located in the heart of East Sussex.

The project will be delivered through an innovation collaboration between green technology start-up Riding Sunbeams and Network Rail and will develop the route to market for subsidy free renewable energy generators to directly supply the UK’s largest energy user.

Project Update – September 2021

At the Accountability Board meeting in September 2021 it was agreed that the project met the conditions for the retention of GBF funding beyond 31 March 2022, for a maximum period of 6 months. This decision was endorsed by the Strategic Board at their October 2021 meeting.

Further Project – 

The project will deliver five individual buildings, varying in size from 500 sqm to 1,000 sqm, on two adjacent plots within the Innovation Park. Each building will be designed with flexibility in mind so that they can either be occupied as a whole, or sub-divided to suit occupier requirements. Each building will have heavy goods vehicle access and car parking.

The project seeks to address the pressing need for modern manufacturing premises locally to assist with economic recovery from COVID-19. As well as helping to attract new businesses, the project can support both move-on and scale-up businesses locally.

Project Update – 10 September 2021

At the Accountability Board meeting in September  it was agreed that planning permission must be secured and the third-party Grant Agreement between East Sussex County Council and Sea Change Sussex in relation to the Fast-Track Business Solutions for the Hastings Manufacturing Sector (the Project) must be completed by the 19 November. If planning consent has not been secured and the grant agreement is not completed by this date, the project will be removed from the GBF programme and the £3.5m GBF funding will be released for reallocation to alternative projects on the GBF prioritised project pipeline.

Further Project Update – 27 May 2022

The Accountability Board that the GBF funding should not be retained against the
project beyond March 2022 and that the project should be removed from the GBF programme.

£85m of investment to East Sussex, Essex, Kent, Medway, Southend and Thurrock

The Getting Building Fund focuses on projects that can progress quickly and that will stimulate and better integrate economies in some of the most economically impacted and COVID-affected parts of the South East.

£85m of Getting Building Fund investment has been secured, enabling delivery of 45 projects across East Sussex, Essex, Kent, Medway, Southend and Thurrock.

Find out more here

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