A vibrant and exciting town

I WAS astounded to read Sam Reid’s letter in last Friday’s Herald.

Eastbourne is NOT dying on its feet. Perhaps a more positive attitude would help.

Yes, there are still some empty shops. Interestingly SIX of the formerly empty shops in Terminus Road which had art work displayed in their windows (a local community initiative - RegenerArt) are now housing new businesses.

Sadly, I understand the business rate is determined by central government, so our local councils have no say in the amount they have to charge hence many highly rated premises left empty in the less popular areas.

Most of the footfall is confined to Terminus Road, as his comments about Little Chelsea and the shops in Willingdon Road and opposite the station testify.

If Sam had ventured out on Good Friday the sight of the New Life Gospel Choir and the Easter Company may have shown him that local faith groups are not idle.

Also in the town centre, the three-week long Eastbourne Festival had a positive launch on Saturday (schools, youth groups, local musicians, artists and drama groups all playing their part).

Next weekend sees Magnificent Motors with a full music stage on both days, as well as the market stalls on the seafront. Look out for the Cycling Festival in May, 999 weekend, the Motor Show, Eastbourne Extreme, the 11th Lammas Festival, the 6th RNLI Regatta, Bonfire Procession, Beer Festival, the Marathon and the Food & Drink Festival - to name but a few of the events organised by local groups. Not to mention the many fetes, fun days and sponsored walks that will also take place.

Please join in, or better, become a member of one or more of the various groups that raise funds to put on community events that demonstrate what a vibrant, exciting town we live in.

Finally, Sam, as you live in Summerdown, why not come along to the Old Town Fete on Longlands Rec on July 16 and see your local community in action.

The churches of this part of town work hard to put on this free event each year. Make yourself known to some of us and find out why we enjoy working together and sharing with each other.

Derek Legg

Beechwood Crescent