Revitalisation plans discussed in Hailsham

Hailsham Forward Annual General Meeting
Hailsham Forward Annual General Meeting

Plans for revitalising Hailsham town centre were discussed at a meeting held on Friday August 1.

Around 20 stakeholders attended Hailsham Forward’s annual general meeting which was held at Diplocks Hall.

Hailsham Forward was formed after the town received £10,000 from the Mary Portas town regeneration scheme set up by the Government’s department for communities.

It met town, Wealden district, and East Sussex county councillors as well as business association members, economic development officers and representatives from voluntary organisations.

A number of objectives for the revitalisation of the town centre and surrounding urban environment were reviewed and it was decided Hailsham Forward will work with East Sussex County Council, Wealden District Council and businesses to make improvements in a number of areas.

This includes improvements to specialist markets, town centre floral displays, and take a zero tolerance stand on dilapidated buildings.

Councillors discussed improving the industrial estates’ access and parking, street market - including the market stall storage facility - and cycle parking facilities.

Other objectives included expanding the Town and Shopping Guide to include industrial estates, establishing a keep trade local campaign and encouraging links between education and businesses.

Town Mayor, Councillor Jo Bentley, who attended the meeting as a member of the town council’s Business Enterprise Committee, said: “Hailsham is already on the road to regeneration with the opening of new businesses in the town centre in recent months.

“The development of Hailsham’s revitalisation plan, which was reviewed at this meeting, will involve stakeholders working with councils, businesses and other agencies to help deliver these objectives over a period of time, some short-term and some long-term.”

Cllr Nigel Coltman, who at the AGM was elected Chairman of the Hailsham Forward stakeholder group for the 2014/15 year, said: “What the Hailsham Forward Town Team needs to do now is to build on its successes to date and continue to make a real difference to our town.

“Hailsham is very lucky to have the town council, as well as committed local residents and businesses, which are prepared to give up their time to make Hailsham Forward work and bring its goals and aspirations into fruition.”

Reports were also given about the Town Team’s activities during the past year.