Visitor numbers at Redoubt fall short

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THE NUMBER of visitors paying a trip to the Redoubt is less then expected according to figures released by Eastbourne Borough Council.

A study into the finances and performance of the local authority during the third quarter of 2011/12 shows that during that time just 2,764 people visited the sea fortress.

The local authority estimated around 18,500 people would visit the attraction but, with 6,278 popping in during the previous quarter, is seems unlikely that target will be hit.

Built in the early 1800s, the Redoubt was home to naval troops for more than 100 years before being brought back into use during the Second World War amid the threat of a Nazi invasion.

It currently houses a host of exhibitions and is full-to-bursting with artifacts from the area’s military past.

However, fewer people seem to be lured by its showcases, prompting one outspoken opposition councillor to call on the Lib Dem-dominated authority to do more.

A dismayed Councillor Tom Liddiard told the council’s cabinet, “More should have been done before this point to have ensured this did not happen.”

Tourism boss Tracey McNulty wrote in a recent report that the reason visitor figures were lower than anticipated was because of the overall economic climate and far less people walking by because of the closure suffered at Treasure Island.

It was a sentiment shared by the authority’s head of tourism Cllr Neil Stanley, who told the Herald, “The Redoubt has enjoyed a busy year in 2011 despite the wider economy still feeling the effects of the recession.

“We are confident that as the year progresses we can demonstrate the Redoubt’s success even more, with an events programme, wedding bookings, and new cafe all set to attract even more footfall to this wonderful historic venue on our seafront.

“With a commitment to making further improvements to the Redoubt, including better signage, more events, and improved accessibility, which is a priority project for the next year, our ambitions are expected to continue to drive visitor numbers during 2012.”