Eastbourne will receive a further £20 million of Levelling Up money to regenerate the town following extensive pressure by the MP Caroline Ansell on the Treasury to release the funds.

The cash will come from the £1.5 billion Long Term Plan for Towns and was announced by the Chancellor in his budget today.

Over the next ten years, the funding will be used by local leaders, including the MP and councils, on local priorities from high street or seafront regeneration to community safety or transport links.

There will also be more support to allow councils to make use of a suite of regeneration powers to unlock more private sector investment by auctioning empty high street shops – something Caroline has campaigned to happen and would potentially allow empty sites in the town centre like Debenhams to be used for much-needed housing.

Other measures include reforming licensing rules on shops and restaurants.

This latest windfall is in addition to the £20m Eastbourne has already received for its Levelling Up project, along with the further millions from the levelling up Parks Fund, the Community Ownership Fund, the Culture Recovery Fund and the Shared Prosperity Fund.

“I am delighted that the government has again shown its enduring commitment to Eastbourne so it can continue to grow and prosper with this latest huge sum of money,” said Caroline.

“I have spent several months working behind the scenes with the Chancellor and his Treasury team, plus the Department for Levelling Up, for Eastbourne to be included in any further rounds of the towns fund after we narrowly missed out.

“As MP I get a say in how the money is spent so I will be rapidly reaching out to everyone for their input. Investment in the seafront and town centre are very natural first instincts but I am keen to understand how funds could have an impact in neighbourhoods across the town.

“Whatever is decided must also be underpinned with good jobs and training opportunities for local people at every age and stage of their working lives. This is something I was passionate about regarding our first £20m Levelling Up money for a world class visitor destination at Black Robin Farm and I will push for this too with the towns fund.

“This is another very positive day for Eastbourne and I am pleased the Chancellor has listened to me and the need for this investment. It will lead to some transforming projects in the years to come.

“Responding to this brilliant announcement, I have launched an online survey today asking local people their views on how this money should be spent for maximum effect. Of course, people are also welcome to write in to my constituency office.”

“Residents can fill out my survey by following the below link: www.carolineansell.co.uk/news/towns-fund