Members of the economic growth board, Team East Sussex (TES), enjoyed a tour of Eastbourne’s exciting Devonshire Quarter development. FSB’s Clive Soper (second right) is on the team and Development Manager, Martin Searle supports the team too (far right).
They took the opportunity to see first-hand how the £54million project to create a top cultural, sporting and conference destination is taking shape.
Clive Soper, who is also FSB’s South East Regional Policy representative, said: “We were impressed to see the various elements of this ambitious scheme coming together and look forward to its completion. Devonshire Quarter represents a major boost to the local and regional economy, as well as job creation.”
The group went inside the Grade II* listed Congress Theatre, which is undergoing a major two-year refurbishment. Scaffolding is currently being taken down in the main auditorium now that work to paint areas of the ceiling and redecorate the original teak timber are finished.
The Congress renovation project is on track for the scheduled completion date of March 24, 2019, when the London Philharmonic Orchestra will perform at the theatre.
The Team East Sussex (TES) members were also shown progress on the new Welcome Building, which will provide conference halls, break out and hospitality areas and the site’s central box office. Raised timber floors have been installed there ready to be tiled, and concrete cladding is complete on the exterior.
The TES group saw that work is well underway to create a plaza which will become an attractive gateway to the theatres, conference facilities and Towner Art Gallery. New kerbs are being laid at the new piazza, which will have a disabled drop-off near the entrances to the buildings.
Following the site tour, the TES meeting was held in the adjacent newly-built players’ changing facilities for the Devonshire Park International Tennis Centre.
TES is the local federated board for the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP).