Previous Government helped to kickstart town’s regeneration

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I WANTED to reply to Roger Collyer’s letter in last week’s Observer criticising the regeneration programme in the town.

He suggests that the town centre office developments – Lacuna Place and One Priory Square – are “not finished”.

In fact One Priory Square has been purchased by Saga and it is currently recruiting and training the first batch of the 800 staff the firm intends to fill it with.

I am not sure I can think of much more successful regeneration than that.

Going up opposite the Saga building is another, the second phase of University Centre Hastings also delivered by Sea Space and due to open in September this year.

None of these successes would have been possible without the money from the last Government which kick-started our current regeneration programme.

Roger doesn’t seem impressed with the redevelopment of the Station Plaza.

But again thanks to investment from the previous Government we have a modern walk-in health centre replacing the old Victorian town centre GP practices and the newest further education college in the country.

If the momentum from the Saga building could be sustained then more office development in the town centre would be needed to house other businesses – hence the bid for additional money from the present Government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF).

Unfortunately the present Government has yet to show the level of commitment to our town as that of its predecessor.

So far it did not give us the RGF money, it still hasn’t come up with the money for the Hastings-Bexhill Link Road and it is cutting funding to Hastings Borough Council by 50 per cent – and no other council will be hit harder than that.

CLLR JEREMY BIRCH

Council leader

Hastings Borough Council