South East England Development Agency is Closing on March 31, 2012

The Government has announced that all Regional Development Agencies (RDAs), including SEEDA, will close by 31 March 2012.

Responsibility for economic development and regeneration in England is being passed onto successor bodies, including Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and central Government departments

Our objective is to ensure a professional and cost effective closure by this date.  We have pledged to work closely with our partners, contractors and stakeholders to ensure that the past and future economic benefits of key programmes and assets continue to deliver the greatest economic value for the South East and value for money for the taxpayer. 

Please click here for more details about our closure plan, transition arrangements and successor organisations.

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Lifestyle / leisure

Some 80% of the South East is rural, offering beautiful countryside, coastal areas and an enormous range of leisure activities. The 20% classed as urban is as cosmopolitan and well-served as any shopper or parent in search of a good school could wish for. The South East's 8 million people enjoy a strong cultural heritage, with internationally famous events such as the Glyndebourne Festival Opera and the Chichester Theatre Festival.

With the largest number of specially designated museum collections of any region, it is also home to two of the nine UK sports institutes and has a renowned architectural heritage.

There is a wide variety of entertainment and heritage in the South East, including:

  • Britain’s oldest known shipwreck, located in Dover harbour containing the original artifacts of the ship
  • Sailing in Brighton
  • Calshot Activities Centre in New Forest, one of the largest Outdoor Adventure centres in Britain
  • Six historic battlefields
  • Xscape in Milton Keynes, an extreme sports and leisure facility
  • Guildford Spectrum in Guildford which has an Olympic-sized ice rink, 32-lane bowling alley, four swimming pools, gym, sports and aerobic arenas
  • In Canterbury, St Martin’s Church, the oldest church in continuous use in England, the ruins of the Norman Canterbury Castle – and the all-imposing Canterbury Cathedral
  • Oxford University, with its ancient traditions and historic buildings. And in the countryside of the Cotswolds in Oxfordshire, picturesque villages, old market towns and rolling hills.

The South East is an environmentally attractive region, containing:

  • 6,500km2 of the region designated as Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB); a third of the total area of such designations for England. Two of these, the New Forest and the South Downs, have been proposed for National Park Status
  • Some 40% of the region's area is the subject of some form of protective designation, such as AONB, Green Belt or Sites of Special Scientific Interest
  • More than 80% of the region is classified as rural according to recent statistics issued by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The South East also has the highest number of commons in England at 22% of the total, with nearly 300km of national trails. We have 227 Local Nature Reserves and 58 country parks, the highest in any region. The 37 National Nature reserves draw nearly 3m visitors a year.

With a vast array of attractions, mix of ancient and modern centres and a desirable lifestyle, it is easy to see why the South East is one of the most popular regions in the UK.