Funding boost for Devonshire Park transformation plans

Redevelopment plans for Devonshire Park
Redevelopment plans for Devonshire Park

Major transformation plans for Devonshire Park are set to receive a £5m funding boost.

The £44m project, led by Eastbourne Borough Council, has already delivered wide-ranging enhancements to the word-class tennis facilities.

In addition to a brand new welcome building, the existing Grade II* listed buildings, Devonshire Park Theatre, Congress Theatre and the Winter Garden, will be extensively restored.

The project has received £5m of local growth fund money after a successful bid by the South East Local Enterprise Partnership.

East Sussex County Council’s lead member for strategic management and economic development is set to approve the transfer of the funds to the borough council to progress the works next Tuesday (July 11).

A total of £3.4m will be allocated in 2017/18 and the remaining £1.6m in 2018/19.

According to county council officers: “All year round consumer tourists and business visitors are very important for the local economy and make a major contribution to preventing the Eastbourne tourism economy following the downward spiral of many similar coastal towns.

“In Eastbourne, the sector directly supports 7,800 local jobs and generates over £300m in visitor spending.

“The conference facilities in the Devonshire Park complex are recognised to be outdated and insufficient.

“Devonshire Park Quarter has lost business due in large part to the unsuitability, the lack of capacity and the low quality of these spaces.

“Redevelopment of this site will provide a high class conference and exhibition venue that is of major importance to the profile and economy of East Sussex, drawing exhibitors and delegates from the UK and internationally.”

They added: “Devonshire Park Quarter in Eastbourne is a cultural and sporting, town centre destination, in a key position linking the rail station and the sea front. It already enjoys success from an internationally renowned tennis centre, three theatres and a contemporary art gallery.

“The redevelopment of the area is critical to Eastbourne’s ambitions for their visitor economy and conference offering.”

For more information visit www.conferenceeastbourne.com/devonshire-park-development.aspx