Eastbourne’s Little Chelsea named one of the coolest neighbourhoods in country

Little Chelsea sign in Eastbourne (Photo by Jon Rigby)
Little Chelsea sign in Eastbourne (Photo by Jon Rigby)

An Eastbourne neighbourhood has been named one of the coolest in the country.

Little Chelsea placed third in the Sunday Times’ home supplement, released on October 7.

Little Chelsea sign in Eastbourne (Photo by Jon Rigby)

Little Chelsea sign in Eastbourne (Photo by Jon Rigby)

Reacting to the news, The Vinyl Frontier said on its Facebook page, “WOW! With a capital WOW! We are officially ’Hipsters’!”

The area, which includes Grove Road and South Street, is packed with independent businesses and hosts Little Christmas each year.

The Sunday Times article describes Little Chelsea as ‘the next wave of coastal cool’ which is ‘packed with independent boutiques, craft shops and eateries’.

The writer says, “The Vinyl Frontier pulls in the younger crowd, who have worked out that records are cool, and offers pub quizzes for older musos.

“The area is gently buzzing and a new neighbourhood map, drawn up by the community for the community, is on its way.”

Rhydd Pugh, who owns the Grove Road record store and cafe with Chris King, said, “The area’s changed, there’s all sorts of new businesses, lots of cafes and restaurants.

“We aren’t just a record shop, we have a cafe and bar and hold DJ nights, live music on Saturdays, quiz nights, and open mic poetry evenings.

“You’ve got to diversify. I think we’re part of the regeneration of this area. It’s a really nice place, people always make comparisons with North Laine in Brighton.

“There’s lots of independent businesses, it’s an antidote to the chains at the Arndale Centre.”

Asked what he thought about the stereotype of Eastbourne being for older people he said, “It’s a complete myth, probably true loads of years ago.”

The Sunday Times piece highlights the average age of people in town is 43 and more than 30 per cent of the population is under 30.

It says Eastbourne has been ‘quietly reinventing itself’ over the past five years.

“The facades are still period perfection, but the residents are growing trendier, defying the retirement-home cliche.”

The Towner Art Gallery is also praised for rejuvenating the cultural quarter.

But it says high levels of particulate pollution in Eastbourne are the only downside of living here.

Council tourism boss Councillor Margaret Bannister said, “We are delighted that The Sunday Times has named Little Chelsea as one of the UK’s coolest neighbourhoods.

“We know this vibrant area of Eastbourne with its great range of cafes and restaurants, independent galleries and boutiques, has always been popular with residents, but many of the town’s 5.1 million visitors are also discovering this little cool quarter of town too!

“As the Sunday Times identified, this signals a real change in the perceived image of the town. 4 in 10 of all visitors are now aged between 35-54 with a third of visitors being families with children who come to enjoy our enviable sunshine record, wonderful beaches, great attractions and packed events programme.

“The redevelopment of the Devonshire Quarter will further reaffirm Eastbourne’s position as a top cultural, sporting and conference destination plus the ongoing investment in the town centre shows just why Eastbourne is a great place to live, work and visit.”

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