LETTERS: This ‘flagship’ sounds pricey

Last Friday’s Herald revealed that £1.2 million of the £2 million given to Eastbourne after the pier fire is earmarked for a ‘flagship restaurant’ at the Wish Tower. The original 1960s memorial cafeteria provided a reasonable service for a broad range of customers, who could enjoy the location. The council didn’t ensure that it was maintained by the tenant, and it was demolished. The present facility is smaller, and wasn’t intended to be permanent, but it does cater well for ordinary people enjoying the seafront’s amenities.

It’s not clear what exactly a ‘flagship restaurant’ is, but it suggests expensive meals for exclusive customers; competing with existing restaurants. An assertive building would clash with the historic Wish Tower itself. Thus the net contribution to the town’s amenities or economy will not be great. If there were a business case, it should attract enough investment from the ‘flagship’ business, and not need a handout of public money.

The pier itself might be a better location for a ‘flagship restaurant’. Even so, the council’s performance as landlord of the former Wish Tower Restaurant doesn’t inspire confidence and supporting a posh restaurant doesn’t seem a proper way of using £1.2 million of public money.

David Edwards

Green Street

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