The Leader of Eastbourne Borough Council held talks this week with the new team behind Hillbrow Sports Centre in Meads.

Eastbourne Borough Council supported the bid by Wave Active and South Downs Health and Care (SDHC) to take over the running of the popular venue from the University of Brighton.

Duncan Kerr is the Chief Executive of Wave Active, a charity and social enterprise that operates sports and leisure centres on behalf of Lewes District Council and Eastbourne Borough Council, while Nick Harvey is a GP and CEO of SDHC, a social enterprise that is owned by a number of GP practices in the area.

Councillor Stephen Holt said:

“I am delighted that the Wave Active and SDHC bid was accepted by Brighton University. Like me, they were clearly excited by Duncan and Nick’s compelling and inspiring vision for Hillbrow.

“There was a lot of uncertainty within the Meads community about what the future held for the centre, so to know we have such high calibre organisations running the sports centre is great news for everyone.

“My thanks also to the local community, particularly the SOMS campaign group for bringing residents together to help make sure the site has a bright future.” 

The new team is currently planning meetings with clubs, organisations and members that use Hillbrow, which will also include an open evening for local residents.

Duncan Kerr said:

“Currently, our priority is working with the University of Brighton to ensure a smooth transition and keeping all centre members and neighbours in Meads up to date with the progress we are making. 

“We are grateful for everyone’s patience as we work through the details with the university.” 

Wave Active and SDHC are looking at opportunities to bring together leisure and traditional NHS general practice within Hillbrow and in the longer term, offer private healthcare interventions too.

Nick Harvey said:

“We thank the University of Brighton for supporting the principles underpinning our plans for Hillbrow and their constructive approach during negotiations. We are also grateful to Councillor Holt and Eastbourne Borough Council for the support and help in progressing our proposals.”