Launch of Engineering Eastbourne project

Lord Ralph Lucas SUS-181203-123416001
Lord Ralph Lucas SUS-181203-123416001

A peer from Eastbourne has launched an engineering project among young people in the town to encourage them to think big.

Lord Ralph Lucas, who lives in the town, is the driving force behind Engineering Eastbourne, being launched as 2018 is the official Year of Engineering.

He wants schools to join in and, working with his contacts, come up with some ideas to make the town better.

He said, “I and my family came to Eastbourne three years ago. We could not have made a better decision. It’s a great community to be part of, a beautiful town in beautiful surroundings.

“We were content with that, until Eastbourne council woke us up with its shocking proposal to sell off the downland farms. For us to justify opposing the sale, we had to become active in showing how keeping the downs was the better decision.

“2018 being the Year of Engineering gives me a chance to do that, and to help with another of Eastbourne’s challenges – that so few of our children get to university.

“With the help of local schools I have set up Engineering Eastbourne as part of the Year of Engineering. We will take your ideas for making Eastbourne even better, and bring in engineers from around the UK to work on your ideas with school pupils and show how ideas could become reality.

“We have teamed up with Buro Happold, international consulting engineers working on projects as the David Attenborough Centre in Cambridge and the World Cup 2022 stadium in Qatar. It is inspiring to see such experienced and skilful people giving so much time and attention to Eastbourne for no reward other than their evident enjoyment.

“Working on your ideas will be a fascinating experience for our children. We will be building links with universities and employers to sustain that fascination as they progress through school. We will put ideas and teams together over the summer and work towards a day of presentation and celebration in October.

“What sort of ideas? Anything, large or small, that engineering in its widest sense could help with. Make the beach sandy, run a mountain bike trail down the escarpment, solve our transport problems, clean dog poo off the streets, build an ice rink – a few of the suggestions so far – as well as all the things we might do to enhance the downlands.”

Anyone interested in joining in the project can email

He said, “ Let’s get some ideas up and running, and enjoy exploring where they take us.”