At the end of the meeting of the Seaton Regeneration Board last week, it was time to reflect on the great success of the regeneration programme during the last year and look forward with excitement to next year when, as key partners involved in the regeneration of Seaton and enhancing the economy of the surrounding area, we met for the final time in 2014.
The Seaton Regeneration Programme Board noted the significant progress made during the past year, not least with the start on site of Seaton Jurassic, the new visitor centre for the Jurassic Coast, where a million pounds in Coastal Community Fund and Heritage Lottery funding has been brought to Seaton to help drive this exciting project forward.
An information day held last month attracted some 300 people, who were given an opportunity to see the early interpretation plans and meet some key members of the project team. Building work is on schedule, with the cafe and shop expected to open in July next year and the full centre to follow by the end of 2015. A centre manager has been appointed and will start work early next year.
The Stop Line Way, the cycle path from Bridgwater to Seaton, is due to complete another off-road section running from Seaton through the wetlands to Colyford Road in the spring following some land purchases. The final off-road section to Colyford will be completed as soon as funds can be identified following the diversion of the original funding, the Connecting Communities Fund, into supporting flood repair work in Somerset.
The Seaton Town Development Team reported on the successful introduction of new branding for the town, the upcoming Christmas markets, a new orienteering course and the expansion of the Natural Seaton Festival to two days in July 2015.
Cllr Ian Thomas, chair of Seaton Regeneration Programme Board and East Devon District Council’s cabinet member for economy, said:
“Looking back we have made enormous progress in 2014 and I’m confident that 2015 will be even better. With Seaton Jurassic now visibly ‘above ground’ excitement is mounting in the town and wider region.”
“I hope the many private sector schemes, especially those already with planning consent, will now follow. Further investment will inevitably come to the town as a result of this significant regeneration. We are already seeing new shops opening in the town – including four this month – which is great news for Seaton residents and visitors”.
The Seaton Regeneration Board consists of members and officers from all three local councils (Devon County, East Devon District and Seaton Town) along with private sector and community representatives.”
The new shops are The Owl and the Pyramid, Children’s Corner, Go Create, Mandy’s Must Haves and Barking Spa. Plus, Usala Gallery has reopened and Genesis Vintage Interiors has expanded to bigger premises next door.