Eastbourne cashes in on Olympic fever

OLYMPIC fever is coming to Eastbourne next year – and bringing a £20,000 cash boost with it.

The Herald exclusively revealed last this month that the Olympic Torch will pass through Eastbourne on its way to the London 2012 Games.

The news was met with a heady mix of delight and excitement from locals, who will now be able to experience the Olympic atmosphere regardless of whether or not they have managed to get tickets for the over-subscribed London venues.

MP Stephen Lloyd, who worked with the borough council to make sure the torch came to the Sunshine Coast, promised local people the biggest party in years.

This week it was announced Eastbourne Borough Council will be given a grant of £20,000 by the Greater London Authority to help put up a giant screen so people can watch the drama unfold.

This screen, called a Community Live Site by Olympic organisers, will have to be provided in order for Eastbourne to access the cash – with £10,000 having to be earmarked for this and another £10,000 spent on decorating the torch route.

However, early estimates suggest the Community Live Site, which would be in a central location and most likely on the seafront, could cost as much as £25,000 – meaning the council needs to find another £15,000 from somewhere.

Chris Richards, part of the borough’s economic development team, has contacted local businesses to ask for help in footing the bill.

He said, “This is a great opportunity for the town to come together to celebrate this great sporting occasion.

“We are looking for community-minded business partners to contribute towards this cost either financially or by being involved on an ‘in kind’ basis to dress the town for the Olympics.”

The council has until December 15 to submit its application and any local firms who would like to get involved are encouraged to email Mike Marchant at mike.marchant@eastbourne.gov.uk.

The Olympic Flame will come through Eastbourne on Tuesday, July 17.