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Rose Cottage, in the lower alley behind Rock House, where White Rock Neighbourhood Ventures plans to set up an arts training workshop.

£1m awarded for Hastings initial Town Deal projects

The four projects submitted by Hastings Town Deal board for accelerated funding have all received government approval, winning the town a much needed shot of investment. Report by Nick Terdre, photos by Russell Jacobs.

The four projects will receive a total of £1m from the accelerated Town Deal bidding round launched by the government in July. It complements the Town Deal fund set up to assist towns facing particular problems in regenerating their economies and is an acknowledgement of the additional difficulties caused by the coronavirus.

In the words of the council, the four “fantastic projects each offer a great deal to the town, by providing excellent facilities for its residents and businesses to use to further their prospects, while also providing spaces for visitors to explore, helping them to enjoy the uniqueness of Hastings.”

They are:

  • Restoration of the long-disused courtyard space at The Source Park on the site of the former White Rock Baths to create spaces for new market-style shops and food outlets
  • A new employment, events and advice hub on the ground floor of the East Sussex College Station Plaza building, offering job seekers help and support, conference space and a tourism training hub for students
  • Increasing the number of electric vehicle charging points in the seafront/town centre car parks
  • New retail, training and outdoor space at ‘Hastings Commons’ in the lower alley behind Claremont, part of the community-led development around Rock House and the Observer building in the America Ground.

East Sussex College, where an employment, events and advice hub is to be set up.

Excellent start

“This is an excellent start to the wider Town Deal process and an exciting time for our town, it offers substantial investment for Hastings,” said Carole Dixon and Graham Peters, co-chairs of the Town Deal board. “There will be an opportunity to regenerate these areas, to offer exceptional business premises, new amenity spaces and training areas.

“These are aspirational regeneration projects that will help Hastings, its businesses and its young people to maximise their opportunities and look beyond COVID-19 to a brighter future.”

“We are delighted that the bid has been successful,” said council leader Kim Forward. “This news comes at a time when we have been impacted heavily by COVID-19 and these projects should offer our economy a boost. They will also give our residents and the visitors we welcome each year great new amenities and spaces to enjoy.”

Meanwhile the Town Deal board is sifting through the many proposals and expressions of interest which it has received as it prepares a town investment plan to be submitted to the government by the end of January seeking to secure funding of up to £25m.

Posted 18:57 Wednesday, Sep 30, 2020 In: Local News

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