Hailsham’s economy to be ‘revitalised’ by new group

HAILSHAM could be redeveloped as a ‘Medieval Market Town’ under plans put forward by a new authority group to revitalise the town’s economy.

Hailsham Town Council has created a seven-strong committee of councillors to promote business and economic development.

Malcolm Adams, chairman of Hailsham Chamber of Commerce, said he was aware of discussions about the new committee but no official notification of its creation had been received by the Chamber to date.

There was also no specific mention by the town council as to how the new group’s objectives would complement the Hailsham and Hellingly Masterplan published in January 2009.

But the Mayor of Hailsham, Cllr Jeff Bentley-Astor, described the councillors’ committee as a ‘top priority for kick-starting the local economy’.

The committee will look at all options which can be delivered by the town council, including in partnership with other local authorities.

Objectives include getting new parking controls, parking for people with disabilities, loading/unloading bays and taxi ranks in the town centre.

The committee also want wider pavements, new lighting and ‘restriced vehicle movements’ for pedestrians. Hailsham could also become a ‘park gateway town’ with the South Downs National Park Authority.

Future employment opportunities and attracting new business to the town is another objective – with arrangements for vocational training.

An environmental plan for each of the seven industrial and business parks in Hailsham may also be developed, working with agents, stakeholders and partners - along with a roads and transport masterplan, and a business and enterprise manager appointed.

Cllr Tony Williams said: “The town council is proud to announce the appointment of a new, streamlined panel devoted exclusively to supporting economic development in Hailsham, increasing employment through the identification and assessment of ideas and ascertaining which schemes have the potential to deliver strong and successful town revitalisation whilst meeting the aspirations of the local community.

“The first meeting of the new committee will mark a fresh start in the town council’s drive to revitalise the town of Hailsham.

“While there is already significant interest in the town revitalisation project from companies and leaseholders, I would like to encourage any other interested public bodies to attend our meetings and contribute to potential revitalisation schemes.”

The town council will produce a draft plan for revitalising Hailsham for the next council meeting in March 2012.