Sitting alongside friend, transport minister and neighbour Huw Merriman MP I saw beautiful Eastbourne from a whole new vantage point this last week – atop one of Seven Sisters Bus & Coach's classic vintage vehicles.
The Pevensey Explorer 197, a new scenic loop route, brought us into town from Pevensey Castle and to our Pier. You can find out more on Visit Eastbourne.
Travelling along the seafront with my new aerial view, I had a new appreciation of all the seafront offers and its untapped potential.
On that, I was delighted to cut the ribbon on a new children’s bike track inspired by the Friends of Eastbourne Seafront last Saturday. They have a pocket park in their sights for their next seafront space transformation. Watch this space.
Seafront regeneration was in the air again when I met with the Environment Agency, Council and the Environment Secretary Therese Coffey on Wednesday. The government funded sea defence scheme, currently in design, to protect our town for the next century offers some exciting additional proposals – more will be unveiled this autumn/winter.
And transformation is starting to take shape at Black Robin Farm too, our disused dairy farm buildings sitting just above the town near Beachy Head. The government’s £20 million levelling up investment will totally re-imagine this space as a world-class visitor destination and place of learning and training for our children and young people.
This week I also met with our local JobCentre Plus team leaders, the Head of Sport at Brighton University about the under-threat Meads Sports Centre, the new Chief Executive at SECAmb, our ambulance service and senior directors at Southern Water. However, I confess, it’s not been all work though!
I was also able to support a wonderful run of performances across the town last weekend from the Sussex Song Makers & Bellot Ensemble at St Saviour’s, Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale by EODS at the Italian Gardens and Somewhere Over the Rainbow, the story of the wicked Witch of the West, at The Grove Theatre, hosted by West End star and local resident, Mark Curry. Who knew the Wizard of Oz lived in Eastbourne! You can see Mark on stage in London in Wicked at The Apollo. I won’t be London bound until September with Parliament in recess, so for me, there’s no place like home!