Funding of £9.5m from the government’s levelling up fund is now formally confirmed for plans to improve Hove’s western seafront. The council’s successful bid for the money was first announced in the government’s autumn budget statement last October, 2021. An additional £1.147 million (10.4%) of council funding is also being added to the investment programme, making just over £10m available for the project.
The council is working with community organisations to develop ‘Kingsway to the Sea’, a project to regenerate the underused and run-down spaces on the seafront between the King Alfred Leisure Centre and Hove Lagoon. Project officers are working with ward councillors and community stakeholders - including the local tennis club - as plans develop for the whole area.
Tennis courts need TLC
One of the first steps will be to resurface four popular tennis courts on the West Hove seafront that are currently shut due to their poor condition. Officers were monitoring the courts’ condition after they and several players noticed a deterioration in the tarmac. On inspection, cracks and loose chippings were found on all four westerly courts making the surface extremely slippery and unsafe for use’
Councillor Martin Osborne, chair of the TECC committee says: “We know the tennis courts are a popular and important amenity for residents and we’re keen to get them brought back in to use as soon as possible.
“Having funding in place means we can now move forward at pace with our plans. Subject to the usual planning and procurement process, we hope to have the four western courts resurfaced within the next six months.
“In the meantime, four other easterly courts are still open and available for play”.
Working with the community
Work on the ‘Kingsway to the Sea’ project began back in 2018 when the West Hove Forum approached the council to work on plans to develop the area. Since then, council officers have been working with the West Hove Seafront Action Group (WHSAG) whose members include residents and representatives from businesses, clubs and voluntary organisations.