Town plans go on despite the Portas setback

SEAFORD’s town centre may have failed to secure a cash boost from a nationwide project, but there are still plans in the pipeline to give the area an uplift.

The town was one of hundreds which applied for funding and advice from retail guru Mary Portas who has become a household name following her numerous television shows.

It was revealed back in June that Seaford had failed to become a Portas Pilot but there was hope it might be successful in a second round of towns.

But it emerged at the end of July that it failed in the second phase too.

However, Greg Macdonald, economic regeneration project officer for Lewes District Council (LDC), said the Portas Pilot was part of a bigger strategy for Seaford, Newhaven and Lewes.

Mr Macdonald worked alongside individuals and organisations in the area in a bid to see if Seaford could become a Portas Pilot and Seaford Youth Forum filmed a clip which featured on YouTube, stating reasons why Seaford should be picked.

Despite not being chosen Mr Macdonald said there was work going on behind the scenes to look at ways of giving Seaford a boost.

He said, “The Portas Pilot was a catalyst and gave us the initiative to take things forward.

“We’re looking at challenges and opportunities and the way in which we can improve the train station and gateway into the area.

“We’re looking at signposting to various attractions such as the South Downs.

“One thing we’re keen to look at is enterprise within the Seaford area. We’re looking at how we can divert enterprise into the creative sector.”

This would involve getting people on board who would like to set up their own business or want to expand a current one.

He said LDC had been working alongside the town council and East Sussex County Council and is keen to hear from anyone who wants to put forward their ideas and what areas of Seaford they would like to be improved.

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