Eastbourne Borough Council has landed £19.8 million investment in the town after a bid to the government’s levelling up fund unlocked the multi-million pound windfall.

The cash will underpin an ambitious and far-reaching plan to link town centre regeneration with a strengthened visitor economy – the project will see:

  • £7.623 million….to convert Victoria Place into a vibrant, pedestrianised cultural district, including new green energy infrastructure, with awnings, lighting and heating; with excellent independent cafes and restaurants serving high quality, locally sourced food and drink all year round, also developing a night-time economy
  • £11.186 million…to create a world-class culture and education centre at Black Robin Farm, a former dairy farm set on the Downs above the town, connecting the South Downs National Park (SDNP)  with the town centre and seafront and providing a new destination for around 100,000 visitors per year, space for new businesses and work placements for young people during both the construction and operational phases
  • £1.037 million…investment in the Towner’s Centenary project, creating a number of legacy public artworks across the town that will provide an arts trail connecting the seafront, town centre and SDNP, as well as enhancing gallery facilities to support the education and outreach programmes that will engage strongly with some of Eastbourne’s most disadvantaged communities.

Councillor David Tutt, Leader of Eastbourne Borough Council, said: “This is a legacy defining moment in the history of our wonderful town and one that will benefit generations of residents, both now and long into the future.

“I’m obviously delighted that the government recognised the great ambition within our plans and now look forward to starting the project work and fulfilling the bid’s huge potential.

“I must also thank all those who have contributed to this great council success. Special thanks to Christina Ewbank and all the other members of the Stakeholder Group for their constructive and supportive contributions and the council officers who drafted the bid.

“Eastbourne working together is Eastbourne at its best!”

The news of the bid success means that the Towner project will be completed in 2023 with Black Robin Farm and Victoria Place following shortly after in early 2024.

Christina Ewbank, Chair of the Eastbourne Stakeholder Group, said: “What a terrific and deserved boost for Eastbourne and all who live and work here.

“The bid is really exciting with so many transformative elements within it, be it new infrastructure, cultural and lifestyle developments, educational and employment opportunities and stronger links with the national park and throughout the town.

“Eastbourne’s visitor economy is set to become all year round and Terminus Road will come alive at night as Victoria Place fizzes with excitement.”