Royal visitor officially opens skate park in Hastings’ regeneration tour

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A royal family member said it was a ‘great pleasure’ to visit Hastings and see all the work done to regenerate the town today (Wednesday, April 20).

The Duke of Gloucester unveiled a plaque officially opening The Source skate park during his trip which included a tour of the Jerwood Gallery and a trip on the East Hill Cliff Railway.

Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester, officially opening The Source Park with co-founder Richard Moore and mayor Bruce Dowling. Photo by Sid Saunders. SUS-160420-152415001

Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester, officially opening The Source Park with co-founder Richard Moore and mayor Bruce Dowling. Photo by Sid Saunders. SUS-160420-152415001

The point of Prince Richard’s trip was to learn about the town’s up-and-coming nature and the seafront skate park was his first stop after arriving by helicopter on East Hill.

Skaters showed off their skills to the Queen’s first cousin at The Source which he said was a ‘very important addition to Hastings’ attraction and likened it to the Royal Albert Hall.

“[The Source] have used its imagination to turn this redundant building into something useful,” he said.

The Source’s co-founder Richard Moore gave the Duke a tour of the world’s largest subterranean skate park, which opened in February, and introduced him to representatives from Respond Academy and Charity for Kids, which it supports.

Hastings Borough Council tourism manager Kevin Boorman bows as he greets the prince and Lord Leiutenant of East Sussex Peter Field on East Hill

Hastings Borough Council tourism manager Kevin Boorman bows as he greets the prince and Lord Leiutenant of East Sussex Peter Field on East Hill

Richard said it was an honour to have a member of the royal family visit them and the prince said some kind words about their work and Hastings in general.

“He was really interested in what we’ve done with the building and how its developed, how its affected young people and the opportunities for local people to use it plus the jobs its created,” he said.

Before visiting The Source, Hastings Borough Council tourism manager Kevin Boorman welcomed the man 24th in line for the throne on East Hill.

Kevin gave the royal guest a brief history of the town and the developments on the seafront.

Prince Richard meeting representatives from the Jerwood Gallery. SUS-160420-152035001

Prince Richard meeting representatives from the Jerwood Gallery. SUS-160420-152035001

“It was really good to be able to show off the town, we’re very proud of what we’ve achieved over the last 10 or 12 years and it’s great for the publicity it brings to the town,” Kevin said.

Prince Richard later had lunch at the Jerwood, freshly-caught Hastings fish cooked by Paul Webbe of Webbe’s restaurants, after a behind-the-scenes look at how exhibitions are put together.

The gallery’s marketing and communications manager Kate Giles said the royal is a trained architect so was interested in the building and said it was a great day for the town.

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Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester, visits Hastings.
Arrival on the East Hill. SUS-160420-152008001

Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester, visits Hastings. Arrival on the East Hill. SUS-160420-152008001

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Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester, officially opening The Source Park,  Hastings. Photo by Sid Saunders. SUS-160420-152500001

Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester, officially opening The Source Park, Hastings. Photo by Sid Saunders. SUS-160420-152500001

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Prince Richard got a glimpse of the refurbished pier. Photo by Sid Saunders. SUS-160420-152437001

Prince Richard got a glimpse of the refurbished pier. Photo by Sid Saunders. SUS-160420-152437001