As Chair of the Seaton Regeneration Board during the last two years and member of the Seaton Jurassic project team, it was pleasing to hear all partners involved in Seaton’s regeneration welcoming progress being made, whilst adding their commitment to continue to drive the town’s regeneration forward.
The Board welcomed the new manager of Seaton Jurassic, Mike Ruiter, and heard that construction at The Underfleet site was on schedule for the July opening of the first hub including the cafe and shop. The final interpretation plans have been agreed so installation can begin as soon as the building work is complete. This week (26 March) the first volunteer event was held in Seaton Town Hall with more than 100 people interested in helping at the centre attending. Topping out is expected to be celebrated next month.
Seaton Tramway outlined their proposals to change to charity status and shared a preview of their first ever TV advert, shown on ITV last Friday.
Work on the next stage of the Stop Line Way, the long distance cycle and walking route linking the Bristol Channel to Lyme Bay, from the rear of The Saltings through to Colyford Common can now begin following the transfer of land.
Seaton Town Council outlined the latest seafront enhancement plans which are supported by the Regeneration Board. It is hoped that these will go out for public consultation during May.
The Board heard that the Chine Cafe on West Walk is now out for tender. The Chine Cafe and the public toilets to the rear of the building are available on a 25-year lease with the opportunity for the new tenant to combine both buildings to provide a larger cafe/restaurant facility. It is an exciting opportunity to run a cafe in a stunning seafront location on the Jurassic Coast in Seaton.
In the public update, which now follows each meeting of the Seaton Regeneration Board, as Chair and East Devon District Council’s cabinet member for economy I said;
“This was another positive meeting of the Board where we heard clear progress on some major projects within the town and opportunities for more to come. The Grizzly weekend showed what can be achieved with many partners working together and the praise for the town, its people and the organisation was well deserved. We are determined to continue to work together to attract more businesses into Seaton. I am confident that our funding into Seaton Jurassic and other initiatives will encourage the private sector into making further improvements and investment in the town.”
The Town Development Team reported further progress with its marketing and promotion of Seaton including excellent coverage about the town’s regeneration in Exe magazine and the new Jurassic Coast magazine. Several new businesses have opened in the town bucking the national trend and the artisan market is going from strength to strength with more than 500 shoppers visiting the Victorian Christmas market. The next market takes place during Hawkeaster on Saturday, 4 April.
The Seaton Regeneration Board consists of representatives from key local businesses; Axmouth Parish, Seaton Town, East Devon District and Devon County councils; and the local community.