Eastbourne scoops ‘legacy-defining’ £20 million windfall

Eastbourne has scooped a £20 million chunk of Government ‘levelling up’ money today (Wednesday, October 27) to plough into local projects including pedestrianisng the sea end of Terminus Road and creating an art trail connecting the town centre, the seafront and the Downs.

Wednesday, 27th October 2021, 3:12 pm
Victoria Place signs in Terminus Road, Eastbourne. SUS-200207-142708001

Eastbourne has scooped a £20 million chunk of Government ‘levelling up’ money today (Wednesday, October 27) to plough into local projects including pedestrianisng the sea end of Terminus Road and creating an art trail connecting the town centre, the seafront and the Downs.

Eastbourne Borough Council has welcomed the news as a ‘legacy-defining moment’ and said the money will ‘underpin an ambitious and far-reaching plan to link town centre regeneration with a strengthened visitor economy’.

The project includes: £7.6m to convert Victoria Place into a ‘pedestriansed cultural district’, with new green energy infrastructure, awnings, lighting and heating; with independent cafés and restaurants serving high quality, locally-sourced food and drink all year round – boosting the night-time economy.

Towner Gallery, Eastbourne SUS-200709-121802001

£11.2 million to create a ‘world-class cultural and education centre’ at Black Robin Farm to welcome 100,000 visitors a year and space for new businesses and work placements.

£1 million for the Towner’s centenary project to create a number of legacy public artworks across the town to form an arts trail connecting the seafront, town centre and South Downs National Park.

Councillor David Tutt, Leader of Eastbourne Borough Council, said, “This is a legacy-defining moment in the history of our wonderful town and one that will benefit generations of residents, both now and long into the future.

“I’m obviously delighted that the government recognised the great ambition within our plans and now look forward to starting the project work and fulfilling the bid’s huge potential.

“I must also thank all those who have contributed to this great council success. Special thanks to Christina Ewbank and all the other members of the Stakeholder Group for their constructive and supportive contributions and the council officers who drafted the bid.

“Eastbourne working together is Eastbourne at its best!”

The news of the bid success means that the Towner project will be completed in 2023 with Black Robin Farm and Victoria Place following shortly after in early 2024.

Christina Ewbank, Chair of the Eastbourne Stakeholder Group, said, “What a terrific and deserved boost for Eastbourne and all who live and work here.

“The bid is really exciting with so many transformative elements within it, be it new infrastructure, cultural and lifestyle developments, educational and employment opportunities and stronger links with the national park and throughout the town.

“Eastbourne’s visitor economy is set become all year round and Terminus Road will come alive at night as Victoria Place fizzes with excitement.”

Eastbourne MP Caroline Ansell said she was ‘delighted’ with the news.

“It very much shows coastal towns like ours are in the thoughts of ministers and it is yet another boost as we recover from the pandemic.

“The Government pledged to level up and here is an important commitment. Our local plans need to be rolled out by Spring 2025 so we should see results in a relatively short space of time.

“I am excited about the apprenticeship opportunities in the creative and digital fields, construction and land management. The new jobs envisaged are vitally important too, both direct and indirect. Likewise the opportunities for new start-ups.

“Elements of the bid have real potential to bring transformation to our town by linking the downland to the seafront and the seafront to the town centre - three major moving parts of the Eastbourne engine.

“We may also now finally secure our identity as Eastern Gateway Town to the South Downs National Park and harness the national and international attraction this inspires. “

Importantly, the investment to come in Victoria Place extends the season, promotes the night time economy and will be a springboard for the important developments to come at the strategic sites of the former TG Hughes and Debenhams.”