Creating a better feel for the town centre

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A bid to turn Hastings into a Business Improvement District aims to provide ‘a better feel for the town centre’.

Last week, the Observer announced the business plan for the BID had been finalised and was available for local business people to view.

The BID proposal has four key aspects, each of which will be the subject of an article in the Observer spanning across four weeks. This week, the focus is on making a better feel for Hastings town centre.

This proposal has a number of aspects, including creating a warm welcome for visitors to the town. This would see the BID link with Sussex Coast College to engage travel and tourism students as town centre ambassadors. They will welcome visitors, hand out guides and provide guided walks across the town.

A top aim for the BID is to achieve the Purple Flag Award for the town centre. The Purple Flag is an accreditation process similar to the Blue Flag for beaches, but for town centres that meet or surpass the standards of excellence in managing the evening and night time economy.

The BID hopes to run a phased extension of Christmas lights to Queens Road, Havelock Road, South Terrace, Trinity Triangle and White Rock, and expand the events and street vitality programme, which involves purchasing a Group Insurance cover, bunting and flags, offering advice on event management and establishing a fund for groups to hold events.

The BID is also putting a focus on improving the physical environment, including a phased introduction of floral planters with priority given to areas that don’t currently benefit from floral displays, and, with landlords’ permission, the dressing of empty shop windows and other eyesores.

The BID is also proposing to work with traders to link up parking, restaurants and entertainments such as the Theatre, Pier and the cinema to encourage visitors to stay in the area for longer.

For more information on the Hastings BID, visit www.hastingsbid.co.uk. Business plans are available to pick up from the Tourist Information Centre, Aquila House, Breeds Place on Hastings seafront.

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