Seafront can’t continue to trade on past glories

It needed to be said so I will say it again – Eastbourne seafront needs a revamp.

Tony Crooks made some excellent points in his letter published in last week’s Herald but I felt that his suggestions did not go far enough. As the jewel in Eastbourne’s crown, our seafront cannot continue to live on its past glory forever.

I care passionately about the future of the town and its apparent complacency when it comes to not only attracting visitors to Eastbourne but also sending them home having been entertained and with a great message to pass on to others. I can’t help but think we are selling many of our guests short when it comes to the ‘seaside holiday’ experience.

Certainly, as Mr Crooks indicated, the seafront needs to be smartened up and improvements made, but I feel that the most important point was for children’s play areas.

We recently learned that Eastbourne is the second fastest growing resort – benefiting from the ‘staycationers’ opting for the British seaside over a foreign holiday. We should be doing more to try and achieve the number one spot.

While acknowledging the town has started to move, albeit slightly, away from its genteel Victorian image, and has some buildings and events which are worthy of praise and pride, we should not leave it there.

We don’t want to become Blackpool, or even Hastings or Brighton, but we do need Eastbourne to have a wider appeal.

Why should Eastbourne be the ‘gateway to the South Downs National Park’ without being a resort where people feel they have enough to keep them IN the town rather than just stay here and take excursions to spend money elsewhere?

The seafront is arguably our biggest asset, but it needs ideas and a vision to take it forward. I feel Airbourne’s appeal will eventually dwindle – more people come for the loud fast jets than anything else and the military simply can’t afford to use assets for such displays in the strength they used to – and what will happen then?

What will happen if the tennis were to be withdrawn? Look at Margate or any number of other formerly popular resorts? We have the ability to offer something for everybody, but don’t always seem to want to.

Phil Clements

Ash Close.