Relationships, not buildings! writes Olaide Oboh

This sounds like a contradiction as I’m standing onsite kicking off the build of a £100 million scheme that will deliver the largest office and residential place in Brighton for over 25 years! However, being involved in this project for the past three years; the building works are only a small part of the story.

Before we acquired the site, I spent many days, evenings and weekends meeting with local residents, businesses, local schools, newsagents, restaurants, dog walkers etc and the message we heard loud and clear was that this new place must deliver for the area.

When I pressed what people meant, they wanted somewhere they could be a part of; where the jobs and homes would encourage people to stay in the city and, importantly, a different offer so that we don’t compete with the amazing offer in the rest of Brighton.

The relationships built in those early days are crucial as they have directly helped to inform the plans at Edward Street Quarter. We have a mix of homes for people across income levels, we have workspace for people to start and grow their businesses and we have public spaces for everyone to come and enjoy.

Beneath the big excitement as the diggers arrive, what I am most proud of is those relationships and how they will bring colour and life to this new part of Brighton. I am proud that local people will live, work and enjoy themselves here, many of whom I met over the past few years.

So whilst some people might see another development, I will see stories, ideas, experiences and relationships.