"Hastings and St Leonards have positive and varied character, a proactive and collaborative council with a lively mix of trusts and charities contributing to the town’s regeneration. The towns have an authentic sense of distinctiveness.”
So said the judges of this year’s Great Town Award where our town came second out of 74 nominations.
We also had a crack at becoming UK city of culture 2017. And all this gets national recognition for Hastings as a distinctive, cultural, improving place to visit, live, study or invest in. The Jerwood Gallery’s posters on many stations on the line from Charing Cross help with our image too.
So, 2013 was another year of revival and improvement for the town.
Visitors to the town have continued to grow; jobs have increased. Jerwood celebrated their first anniversary; our university centre its tenth and the opening of its new Priory Square building. The council compulsorily purchased Hastings Pier and work has begun on its restoration.
2014 will see the biggest investment in our town centre since Priory Meadow opened, new monies going into the fishing quarter and grants for creative businesses. And our plans for a cultural celebration of 950 years since 1066 will take shape.
The social challenges in Hastings have not vanished; the council is facing big financial difficulties but our town continues to move forward.