The Leader of Eastbourne Borough Council has called on the government to urgently rethink its decision on the latest round of levelling-up funding.
With round two of the government’s funding programme focused on cultural and heritage projects, hopes were high that a £26.5 million bid to support the restoration of the Bandstand and historic Redoubt Fortress would be successful. However, the government has rejected the bid.
Councillor David Tutt said: “This is deeply disappointing for all those who love the Bandstand and Redoubt Fortress and were hopeful that this funding bid would give us the many millions needed to deliver a full restoration.
“I can’t help feeling the government has pulled a cheap trick on us by announcing a fund for historic landmarks such as the Bandstand and Redoubt, but then dismisses our bid. The email from government letting us know this decision basically said that as we were successful with our bid under Levelling Up 1, we have no allocations left to bid under LUF2. This was not communicated to us when we were invited to submit our LUF2 bid.
“I will contact our MP, Caroline Ansell, and ask her to lobby the Secretary of State to reconsider supporting the Bandstand and Redoubt.”
The council has committed £750,000 to repairs and maintenance at the Bandstand that will see the venue reopen in April 2023.
Councillor Tutt added: “The Bandstand and the Redoubt Fortress are part of Eastbourne’s DNA and synonymous with the heritage and history of our great town.
“I appeal to the MP and Secretary of State to demonstrate that these much-loved and nationally significant assets are also important to the government.”