Eastbourne Bandstand: Potential for new Levelling Up funding

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
The bandstand in Eastbourne could be eligible to bid for money in the second round of the Levelling Up fund.

Save Eastbourne Bandstand (SEB) held a public meeting this week (Monday, April 4) to discuss the future of the site.

Ian Fitzpatrick, deputy chief executive and director of planning and regeneration for Eastbourne Borough Council (EBC), was in attendance.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

During the meeting he confirmed there is potential for a bid for the seafront in the second round of the Levelling Up (LU) fund.

Eastbourne Bandstand - April 2022 meeting (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-220126-123840001Eastbourne Bandstand - April 2022 meeting (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-220126-123840001
Eastbourne Bandstand - April 2022 meeting (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-220126-123840001

Mr Fitzpatrick said whilst the bandstand was considered for the first round of the LU fund, the final three projects that got support from stakeholders ‘stood the best chance of success’.

He told the meeting that there will be two large grants available for up to £50m for flagship projects under the fund’s culture and heritage investment theme.

To be eligible, Mr Fitzpatrick said the projects need to be in line with the fund’s focus on highly visible interventions that would boost pride in place and must be for at least 90 per cent culture.

The bid needs to be submitted by July 6.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Mr Fitzpatrick said the next steps are to create a detailed business case showing how the bid would meet the culture/heritage assessment criteria.

He said, “We know there will be a lot of competition and given the amount of funding available (up to £50m per bid) there will be a significantly high level of scrutiny. We will need to show the impact of the scheme both locally and on a national basis.”

Speaking after the meeting a spokesperson for SEB said the group is ‘extremely excited’ about the LU potential.

“It was very welcome news to us, and to all the Eastbournians in the room, to hear that the council and our MP consider this funding suited a seafront project to include the bandstand and even better news to hear they wanted us to work with them on it.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“We are under no illusions that this will be easy given there are only two such pots of funding available but we do believe we can work with the council to help them contribute a strong case.”

Other highlights of the meeting were that SEB has now formed a limited company called Friends of Eastbourne Seafront Ltd. This means the group can fundraise, apply for grants, and potentially become a charity in the future too.

The group spokesperson said this decision was made because it has become apparent this will be a long campaign and therefore needs funding, which has come from within the group up until now.

MP Caroline Ansell attended the meeting. She said afterwards, “The newly-instituted Friends of Eastbourne Seafront Ltd is to be commended for their sterling work to galvanise local support for our beautiful bandstand.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“They will also be important partners going forward and I will make sure they have a seat at the table when funding bids are being developed.

“We will need to move at pace but there is no lack of energy or vision on their part.”

The Environment Agency also attended the meeting and confirmed there will be a series of consultation meetings towards the end of this month to discuss the sea defence coastal work and how that will impact the bandstand. Dates for these meetings will be confirmed soon.

Read more bandstand stories: