Seafront projects set for £50k boost

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THE body which oversees the seafront will give out £50,000 to local groups - just one sixth of the funds originally thought to be available.

The Hastings Borough Council (HBC) charity committee took over from the Foreshore Trust in January, and outgoing chairman Hugh Marriage told the Observer up to £300,000 could be available from as a ‘private lottery fund’ for the town.

But at a meeting on Tuesday, the committee agreed to set the amount available as grants at £50,000, with chairman Cllr Paul Barlow previously pointing out that there were expensive repairs to carry out on various assets on the seafront.

A large chunk of the committee’s funds - raised mainly through its car parks - will go to doing up the White Rock Baths amid increasing commercial interest in the eye-catching premises.

At this week’s meeting, the committee agreed to allocate £75,000 to clearing the rubble from the site - which is apparently putting off prospective buyers - and carrying out an asbestos survey. This is on top of another £75,000 for repairing the sewage system.

Virginia Gilbert, head of leisure and amenities at HBC, said: “The White Rock Baths is being prepared for its return to commercial use.

“Any further works within the building are hampered by the excessive accumulation of rubble which is affecting investigations and causing health and safety concerns.

“An asbestos survey is also necessary to reveal the extent of any asbestos within the rubble prior to removing.”

Meanwhile work is continuing on a new beach volleyball court being built next to the mini golf courses. It is expected to be completed at the end of this month.