Eastbourne council leader backs town’s recovery hopes

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EASTBOURNE is ranked 209 in a list of towns showing the speed at which they are likely to recover from the current economic downturn.

The town is included in an index published by the Institute for Public Policy and Research which ranks 406 local authority areas.

Eastbourne sits at number 209, behind Brighton at 30, Bournemouth at 91 and Wealden at 129 and the majority of other towns in the south east, apart from Hastings which is at 315 and Dover at 250.

The index is based on findings from economic research by Oxford Economics which shows recovery will be slow and employment will not return to its 2008 peak until 2014 in the south east.

Eastbourne Borough Council leader David Tutt said he had no doubt that Eastbourne would recover quickly

He said, “While this is the first I have heard of this report and do not know the criteria which has been used in the assessment, I note that a significant number of coastal towns and regions rank below Eastbourne, such as Scarborough, the Isle of Wight, Cornwall, parts of Dorset and Devon and Torbay and many others are listed well down the table.

“These findings probably say more about the challenges faced by coastal resorts and the need for greater support from central government.

“In Eastbourne we welcome millions of visitors every year and continue to provide opportunities for commercial growth and employment.

“There are tremendously exciting plans for the proposed extension to the Arndale Shopping Centre and ground-breaking ambitions to turn Devonshire Park into a contemporary centre for the arts, culture and entertainment.

“Our local economy is robust and will be able to respond quickly to an upturn in the national economy.”