Press Releases week beginning 16 March 2015
Work to start on White Rock Baths
Major repairs and refurbishment will start on Monday, 23 March at The White Rock Baths as it takes on a new lease of life as a world class BMX and skateboard facility.
Hastings Borough Council, the trustee for the Hastings and St Leonards Foreshore Charitable Trust which owns the building, has commissioned Saville Jones, a Worthing-based practice, to design and manage the construction work. Local firm Colours will move on to the site next week to carry out initial works in preparation for the major repairs that will start in the spring and continue through into winter.
Cllr Peter Chowney, lead member for regeneration explained:
"We are very pleased to see that the transformation of the dilapidated White Rock baths is at last about to start.
"The building will be let on a 10-year lease to The Source, a fast growing Hastings-based company that was voted National 2014 BMX Retailer of the Year by Ride Magazine. They will establish the South Coast's first major indoor BMX and skateboard leisure centre in the refurbished White Rock Baths, installing a main arena that will attract the brightest and best riders from around the UK and Europe. A smaller training arena will offer opportunities for local young people to train alongside the country's finest riders. We look forward to seeing the works progress and are expecting the facility to open around Christmas time.
"With the opening of the pier, this will be an important part of the regeneration of the White Rock area."
Richard Moore, Managing Director of The Source added:
"This is a really exciting milestone. After 18 months of talking and planning, it feels very real now that the building work is starting. The next 9 months up to opening will be full of exciting things like fitting out the retail store and cafe, constructing the ramps, planning events, and developing all the necessary systems and IT. We have a very experienced manager due to start soon and will be looking to recruit a great team in the autumn."
The Council successfully applied for a Regional Growth Fund grant through East Sussex County Council and a smaller grant from the government's Coastal Communities Fund to help with the approximate £1m cost of the project, to mainly be funded by the Council and the Foreshore Trust.
New traffic signs in time for marathon
Hastings Borough Council has commissioned three permanent traffic information signs which have now been installed in the town.
Part funded by the Hastings and St Leonards Foreshore Charitable Trust and installed by Colas on Monday, 16 March the three LED signs will display traffic related messages to drivers as they come into the town.
Cllr Dawn Poole, lead member for leisure and amenities explained:
"We have been working on ways to improve information to drivers about traffic delays and car parking for some time.
"These three new LED signs positioned on the seafront at Verulam Place, Old London Road and St Helens Road will give drivers up to date information about expected delays in town, especially along the seafront and they will offer alternative routes. They will also assist with guiding drivers to available car parking in the town's car parks and alleviate and address the delays and congestion in seafront car parks.
"This new system will be invaluable at peak times and especially when the town hosts events which require road closures such as Hastings Half Marathon; taking place this Sunday, the Mayday Jack in the Green Festival and Bonfire Night.
3v3 Basketball Camp
Hastings Borough Council's StreetGames team, in partnership with South East Tigers Basketball Club and Freedom Leisure saw over 40 young people attend a Basketball training camp and a 3v3 tournament on Sunday, 14 March.
Cllr Dawn Poole, lead member for leisure and amenities explained:
"There was a great turnout on Sunday for this special event. The young people developed their skills and were coached with the help of some young coaches who are working their way towards their basketball qualifications. They all took part in a 3v3 half court tournament, which was a great success.
"Thanks must go to our partners for organising this event, all the young coaches and of course the participants that came along to make it such a success. Well done all!"
New St Leonards Works hub opens
'St Leonards Works' is set to become a marketplace for employment and skills, bringing people and businesses together to promote working lives and strong local communities.
St Leonards Works will open their new hub at 65 London Road on Friday, 27 March at 5pm. Employers and local organisations are invited to attend this formal opening and launch event.
This two year project, funded by Hastings Borough Council, AmicusHorizon, and the Department for Work and Pensions means local residents will be able to access employment, training, and volunteering opportunities at the hub.
Council leader, Cllr Jeremy Birch said:
"This excellent facility is part of the Coastal Space Project initiative which is trying to improve the living conditions, income and employment prospects of local people. So, if you're looking for a job, training, career progression opportunities, educational courses, or access to the internet you will be welcome at the centre. It's the only one-stop-shop employment service of its type and it's open to everyone and, the services are free."
David Hinton from the 'Work Place' which organises Hastings Works explained:
"The St Leonards hub will offer much the same as Hastings Works in Robertson Street which currently helps hundreds of job seekers, and both centres will open between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday. We look forward to increasing capacity and providing a local service in St Leonards."
Zoe Jackson, Head of Community Development in Sussex at AmicusHorizon, added:
"We're particularly pleased to be supporting this project which will benefit AmicusHorizon residents along with others in the town. We hope the additional financial advice will also help people to address issues arising from the introduction of Universal Credit and changes to the welfare system."
Eclipse gets lift
Hastings' East Hill Lift will open specially on Friday morning (20 March) to allow people to view the solar eclipse from the top of the East Hill.
Cllr Dawn Poole, lead member for leisure explained:
"The top of the hill is a brilliant place to watch the eclipse, and so we are opening our East Hill Lift specially, at 9am on Friday, in readiness for the maximum eclipse around 9.30am.
"If you do want to watch the eclipse, please remember to be careful and not, of course, look directly at the sun.
"I just hope the sun is visible Friday morning!"
Councillors visit attractions for English tourism Week
The Mayor of Hastings and councillors visited tourism businesses in Hastings on 17 March, to highlight the fourth annual English Tourism week.
Deputy leader and lead member for regeneration, Cllr Peter Chowney explained:
"Tourism and related expenditure in Hastings supports one in six jobs in Hastings is worth over £253m a year to the town's economy.
"This year on our tour we were very pleased to visit two of our newest attractions, 1066 Target Sports which opened last summer and the True Crime Museum which opened last October.
"We also visited Hastings Touring Park which under a new, dynamic management team is making the park even more attractive to caravaners and campers.
"With the start of the holiday season just around the corner, we are looking forward to welcoming visitors from home and abroad for a fantastic stay with a spectacular mix of attractions and entertainment on offer."
Visit www.visit1066country.com for details of where to stay, attractions and events.
Exciting new visitor centre for Country Park
After receiving unanimous support at the meeting of the planning committee on March 04, Hastings Borough Council are keen to see work start on the new visitor centre at Hastings Country Park and Nature Reserve.
Cllr Dawn Poole lead member for leisure and amenities explained:
"There is an overwhelming need for a new Visitor Centre at Hastings Country Park. Our volunteers have to work in a small building that has no running water and no toilet facilities. There is also limited space to provide information to visitors and school groups about the wonderful landscape, geology and wildlife of the Country Park.
"We have been working with Cave architects, Groundwork South East and the local community on plans for a new visitor centre and now, after extensive community consultation at both the Country Park and a week at Priory Meadow Shopping Centre, a new visitor centre has been designed.
"Much consideration has been given to build materials to ensure that it will blend into the beautiful, natural surroundings and be as sustainable as possible. We plan to use locally sourced materials and engage the local community in the build. This will be the first straw built building in Hastings!
"We feel it's important to give visitors as much information as we can about one the area's most valuable assets. The main purpose of this exciting new centre is to provide an excellent facility to educate visitors about this unique part of the Jurassic coastline, its geology, flora and fauna and local history, something that we have not been able to do fully in the past. So, the Visitor Centre will first and foremost be a welcoming place for visitors to learn about the country park and come back for more!"