Councillors celebrate a million pounds of funding for Hastings

Well over a million pounds in funding has found its way into Hastings following a number of schemes and initiatives, it was revealed in Wednesday’s Hastings Borough Council Cabinet meeting.

Councillor Paul Barnett said: “This is good news after an awful year for so many of our local organisations—awful because they have had to close, but awful also because of the uncertainty. There have been various attempts to reopen, false starts, and they’ve struggled as a result just to survive, so it’s very welcome indeed that we’ve got a total £644,000 which is being allocated across those sectors.”

Mr Barnett then revealed that £60,000 of that money will be spent by the council on marshals who will operate from the seafront in order to maintain beach safety and cleanliness and to ensure facilities are in working order.

“The welcome back fund will also support the animation of the town centre to help local businesses attract people back to the shops,” he told the meeting.

“We’ll have music, arts and events happening throughout the town centre between now and running right through next winter up until the end of March.

“The contain outbreak management money is going to enable us to support businesses—I think we ought to actually pay tribute here to businesses in the town who have taken onboard the additional restrictions of operating throughout the pandemic in a whole-hearted way; they’ve worked closely with council officers in order to operate safely. I’m grateful to them for that.

“The final piece of funding is the cultural recovery fund and here we’re able to support our own museum and art gallery. I also wanted to mention money in addition to what we’re agreeing tonight that is coming to Hastings as part of the cultural recovery fund from a wide range of other local cultural organisations.

“For anyone who thinks they’ve all just been sitting there biting their finger nails for the last year waiting to reopen—that couldn’t be further from the truth. There have been some outstanding examples of innovation online from a number of organisations, winning national awards.”

Organisations that have received additional funding from the cultural recovery fund, are Sweet & Dandy, St Mary In The Castle, Sound Castle, Project Artworks, MSL Projects, The Hastings International Piano Competition, Hastings Contemporary and Barefoot Opera.

“In total, they’re bringing £892,000 to the town to support our cultural work, so I congratulate everybody who has been part of the effort to do that.”

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