Hastings Seafront Strategy 2015

Hastings Seafront Strategy 2015

Seafront Strategy Overview

Background and Context

The Seafront Strategy was initially adopted in 2005 under the title “Leading From The Front,” developed by Sea Space in collaboration with Hastings Borough Council, Rother District Council, SEEDA, and Tourism South East. The strategy aims to leverage the seafront as a critical asset for economic and social regeneration, reflecting changes in economic and political contexts since its inception. Significant accomplishments include the development of key attractions such as the Jerwood Gallery, improvements around Marine Court, and the rebirth of Hastings Pier.


The overarching vision of the Seafront Strategy is to create a vibrant, economically prosperous, and socially inclusive seafront that serves as a dynamic focal point for Hastings and St Leonards. This involves enhancing the visitor experience, promoting investment, and ensuring environmental sustainability.


The key aims of the strategy are to:

  1. Advance Economic and Social Development: Foster economic growth and social well-being through targeted initiatives and strategic investments.
  2. Attract Investment and Employment Opportunities: Create a conducive environment for business and employment growth by improving infrastructure and public amenities.
  3. Support a Unique and Inviting Urban and Seafront Environment: Enhance the aesthetic and functional qualities of the seafront to attract visitors and residents alike.

These aims are structured under four thematic areas: Organising for Success, Getting the Basics Right, Key Strategic Interventions, and Zones of Character.

Organising for Success

  1. Leadership and Partnership: The strategy emphasizes the importance of strong leadership by the council and collaborative partnerships with public, private, and community stakeholders to drive the implementation of the strategy.
  2. Support Entrepreneurs: Developing the commercial and employment potential of the seafront through various measures to encourage enterprise and innovation.
  3. Community Involvement: Engaging community stakeholders in planning and decision-making processes to ensure that developments meet local needs and gain public support.

Getting the Basics Right

The strategy focuses on continuous improvement through effective management of key infrastructure and public services:

  1. Infrastructure: Enhancing transport access, parking facilities, public spaces, buildings, and sea defences to improve the overall functionality and attractiveness of the seafront.
  2. Environmental Sustainability: Ensuring high seawater quality, reducing the carbon and ecological footprint, and promoting biodiversity and natural environment conservation.
  3. Events and Activities: Supporting leisure, health, sporting activities, and community and cultural events to increase engagement and use of seafront spaces.

Key Strategic Interventions

  1. Rebalancing: Reducing dependence on the Rock-a-Nore/Stade/Old Town hotspot by encouraging activities and visitor flow towards the western areas.
  2. West Marina: Enabling mixed-use redevelopment to create a vibrant and multifaceted area.
  3. Central St Leonards: Improving links between Central St Leonards and the seafront to facilitate better connectivity and accessibility.
  4. Bottle Alley: Addressing its underuse and negative image, enhancing its value as a promenade feature with retail kiosks and improved parking.
  5. White Rock: Utilizing the reopening of the pier in 2016 as a catalyst for further renewal and development in the White Rock area.
  6. Harold Place: Enhancing the urban realm and connectivity between Hastings Town Centre and the beach and promenade.

Creating “Zones of Character”

The strategy proposes the creation of four distinct zones, each with a tailored design approach to ensure coherence and integration across the seafront:

  1. Old Town: Enhancing its historic and cultural appeal while improving public amenities and visitor services.
  2. Central: Focusing on connectivity, accessibility, and the integration of new developments with existing urban fabric.
  3. St Leonards: Revitalizing the area with improved infrastructure and public spaces to foster a vibrant community atmosphere.
  4. Bulverhythe: Promoting this western gateway with developments that support environmental sustainability and recreational activities.

Resources and Funding

The strategy acknowledges the need for diverse funding sources, including public sector funding, private investments, and community contributions. A comprehensive action plan will detail the projects and initiatives to be undertaken, ensuring that the strategy remains relevant and adaptable to changing economic circumstances.

Policy and Economic Context

The strategy aligns with broader economic development plans and policies at local, regional, and national levels. It supports the cultural regeneration efforts of Hastings Borough Council, aiming to strengthen the visitor economy and enhance the overall quality of life for residents.

ACTION PLAN – 2015-17

Indicators of Success

The strategy outlines key performance indicators to measure the success of its implementation, focusing on economic growth, job creation, environmental sustainability, and community well-being.


The Seafront Strategy provides a comprehensive framework for the development and regeneration of Hastings and St Leonards’ seafront. By focusing on economic and social development, environmental sustainability, and community engagement, the strategy aims to transform the seafront into a thriving, dynamic, and inclusive area that benefits residents and visitors alike. Through strategic planning, effective management, and collaborative partnerships, the strategy seeks to achieve long-term prosperity and resilience for the seafront and its surrounding communities.