Bexhill Forward

January 29 2016: Bexhill's Coastal Community Team (see below) has now submitted its Economic Development Plan for the Town Centre and seafront to the Department for Communities and Local Government. You will find it on the right hand side of the page under related documents.

Please read our Character Assessment of Bexhill Town Centre. This document is a work in progress. We will up-date it as more people complete Character Assessment sheets. You will find the document on the right hand side of the page under related documents.

Spetember 2015: In May, the Government announced a fund to help coastal communities to form Coastal Community Teams based on the successful model of Town Teams. Bexhill Town Team (www.bexhilltownteam.org.uk) and Bexhill Lions Club came together in an effort to widen the remit of Bexhill Town Team and have wider participation. Our bid to the government’s Department for Communities and Local Government was successful and we were awarded £10,000 to

· set up the Coastal Community Team, which we call Bexhill Forward, and

· to produce an economic development plan for Bexhill Town Centre and seafront by January 2016

The funds are held and managed by Rother District Council which is responsible for making sure they are spent appropriately. Rother DC's accounts are available on their web site.

For some time, Bexhill Town Team has been working with other stakeholders in the town - the Chamber, the FSB, local Councillors – researching and considering the best ways to improve the commercial conditions in the Town Centre to stimulate growth and make the Town Centre more prosperous. We want to support existing jobs and create new jobs in order to bring more wage earners to spend earnings in the Town.

To assist us in producing our plan, we arranged a visit to several locations to look at and report on public realm (public space much of which is under the control of various local authorities but also touches people who own the buildings) so that we can show people what the reality of various projects is. Our purpose was not to look at examples and think where we could put them in Bexhill, but to see what others had done in response to their issues and see what improvements had or had not worked, what were the difficulties and how had they dealt with them. Then to use the whole of the information gathered to inform our discussions about Bexhill Town Centre.

Please come to The Studio, DLWP on Tuesday 17th November 10am – 9pm or Wed 18th November 9am – 8 pm to view our findings and contribute to the discussion.


We previously wrote:

Bexhill Town Team in Partnership with Bexhill Lions and Rother DC has successfully applied to the Department for Communities and Local Government to form a Coastal Communities Team. Thank you to Cllr Elford, Cllr Hughes, Cllr Watson, Rother DC and MP Huw Merriman for their support for our application. The Coastal Community Team will be known as Bexhill Forward.

Coastal Communities Minister Mark Francois today (17 July 2015) gave his support to over 100 new local teams that will help revive England’s seaside towns and decide where investment goes.

The government has provided more than £1 million to fund 104 further Coastal Community Teams, on top of 12 existing pilots, to help bring jobs, growth and prosperity back to our beach towns and cities. The teams – bringing together local business, councils and people – will help coordinate regeneration projects in their area and get the chance to shape the next wave of the successful Coastal Communities Fund, announced in the Budget last week.

Speaking on a visit to Felixstowe in Suffolk on Friday, Coastal Communities Minister Mark Francois said:

This one nation government is determined to devolve powers and funding so that no corner of the country is left behind. This includes our historic coastal towns and cities that have in some cases fallen into decline in the past but can now ensure that the economic recovery is coming back to them too.

Coastal Community Teams will help decide where that investment goes because local people know best what is needed to grow their local economy. We are backing them with £1 million of direct support and the Budget also confirmed last week that at least £90 million more will be spent in the coming years through the Coastal Community Fund, which these teams will have access to.

By bringing together local businesses, local leaders and volunteers, Coastal Community Teams can help tap into their local heritage and make the most of our stunning seaside assets to make a success of the tourist trade. The teams can also help ensure local people have the skills and opportunities so that they benefit from the new jobs and investment too.

Along with each area being awarded £10,000 to kick-start work, the 116 Coastal Community Teams will also be able to bid for up to a £50,000 share of a new £3 million Coastal Revival Fund to support or restore local heritage and facilities which benefit the wider community and the surrounding economy, which is now open to applications.

Historic England Chief Executive Duncan Wilson said:

Heritage is an integral part of the English seaside; piers, bandstands, theatres and promenades are the backdrop to many happy summer holidays, but these kind of historic buildings often need money to help with repairs. Coastal Community Teams have fantastic ideas on revitalising and reusing their most precious buildings and this Coastal Revival Fund offers an excellent opportunity to get those projects up and running.

Heritage Lottery Fund Chairman Sir Peter Luff said:

Our coast has a distinctive heritage that, with the right investment, can drive regeneration, economic growth and job creation. The Coastal Revival Fund will help to unlock that potential and enable communities to take the first steps towards securing wider investment. The Heritage Lottery Fund is one source of that investment and we look forward to working with the Department for Communities and Local Government and local partners to achieve this vision.

Launched in 2012, the Coastal Communities Fund has already allocated nearly £119 million on 222 local infrastructure and economic projects across the UK. This is helping to create almost 13,700 jobs and provide more than 10,280 training places and apprenticeships. The Summer Budget last week announced that the Coastal Communities Fund would be extended to 2020 with at least £90 million of new funding.

19 of the 39 Local Enterprise Partnerships are in coastal areas and as part of the government’s Growth Deals, over £700 million has been committed to projects in these areas to improve transport infrastructure, broadband connectivity, improving flood defences and improving opportunities for local people.

8 out of the 24 Enterprise Zones are in coastal areas which offer incentives for businesses to start up or expand including Business Rates relief, superfast broadband and simplified planning. Coastal Enterprise Zones have delivered over 5,300 jobs to date and helped to secure nearly £275 million of private sector investment to coastal areas.

Further information is available at DCLG