New multi-use games area for Old Town beach

Building projects on the Old Town seafront have caused some controversy over recent months, but the latest addition is likely to be very welcome.

The Hastings Old Town Residents' Association (HOTRA) with money from The Foreshore Trust has created a state-of-the-art multi use games area next to Arnold Palmer Putting.

Dick Edwards, chairman of HOTRA, first came up with the idea five years ago.

"Every time I saw a programme of activities for young people there was nothing in the Old Town, and when I asked why they said there was nowhere to run one," he said.

"Then I saw the statistics about health and fitness levels in all ages and realised this was something we needed.

"I though it would have to apply for various pots of money which would have been very tedious.

"But when I spoke to The Foreshore Trust, its members said it was the sort of thing they wanted to see.

"We are really pleased with it and the contractors Trevor May have done a fantastic job.

"It is in a perfect location and people can stroll along the beach to work off their ice creams."

The 140,000 area is marked out for basketball and five-a-side football and it is the first stage in a development of sports facilities on the beach, with volleyball courts and an outdoor gym hopefully to follow.

Hugh Marriage, chairman of The Foreshore Trust said: "We were delighted to be able to fund this project and it is exactly the sort of thing we should be doing on the beach.

"It is not just for Old Town residents either - we hope everyone in Hastings and St Leonards will want to use it."The games are will have a naming ceremony during Hastings Week (October). Mr Edwards is running a competition to find the best name with a signed Gareth Barry shirt for the winner.

So far he said the best suggestion was 'Playa' which means court and beach in Spanish. Email suggestions to dick@hotra.org.uk

To book the court call Aaron Woods on 01424 451334 or email awdoos@hastings.gov.uk. An hour's session is 19 in advance but it is free when nobody has reserved it.