Hastings Borough Council has been successful in its recent bid to the Coastal Communities Fund in the latest round of grant funding applications.
The grant worth £812,770 is for a new project called ‘Destination White Rock, Hastings – Continuing the Economic Revival’ and will enable the council and partners to revive the White Rock area with a total project value of £1.081m.
Led by the council, the Hastings Coastal Communities Team will manage a portfolio of projects to improve the economic wellbeing of the White Rock area.
Funding will contribute to projects at Rock House, a partially converted office block with a mix of uses, including commercial, residential and community, to provide affordable business development and commercial space. The adjoining Rock Alley will also benefit, with improvements allowing adjoining businesses to contribute to its economic revival and by giving another pathway between the White Rock seafront and inland.
The currently redundant water feature and White Rock promenade between the Pier and Source Park will be refurbished and traditional beach huts will be installed east of the Pier to encourage active use of this area of the beach.
The Source Park will develop a BMX Olympic inspired training programme and offer a series of local, regional and international BMX and skateboarding events to attract thousands of visitors extending the season throughout the year.
There will also be a community based business initiative, developing the local community to participate in and manage the economic revival of the area.
Project manager Kevin Boorman commented:
“This is excellent news for Hastings and the future development of our town. This funding will enhance the significance of the White Rock area as the geographical centre of Hastings and allow it to become a destination in its own right and, a great place to relax and do business. We will start work on these projects now and hope to see completion at the end of 2019.”
Richard Moore the Source Park added: “This grant will help The Source Park realise its full potential as a global BMX and Skateboard centre of excellence. We’re looking forward to building on the success of the Battle of Hastings contests to develop a series of events that showcases Hastings and the Source Park around the world. At the same time, our coaching program, the first of its kind in our sports, aims to give everyone the chance to learn our sports’ and develop the stars of the future”
“Rock House is a unique creative and affordable space for living, working and community action. We’re delighted that this grant will help us with the next phase of the refurbishment which will create new jobs and enterprises, while protecting the very special character of the White Rock/America Ground neighbourhood” said Jess Steele, White Rock Neighbourhood Ventures, social enterprise owners of Rock House
Together the projects aim to support 180 local businesses, create 12 tourism events, create over 180 jobs, increase visitor numbers by over 60,000 which in turn will create an extra £4m spend in support of the wider community.