For the past 18 months, the Council has been working with a number of key partners and professionals, including world renowned architects Marks Barfield and a former LTA director, to decide on the most viable options for Devonshire Park site.
Our vision is to create a bustling and modern all-year-round cultural centre with improved theatre, catering, sports and conference facilities and new open spaces and walkways, to be enjoyed by the wider community and visitors to the resort alike.
At the heart of our ambition is a stronger cultural profile for Eastbourne, while ensuring Devonshire Park remains the venue for world-class tennis; cementing Eastbourne’s position as one of the UK’s premier tourism and conference destinations.
To date we have seen a number of options put forward and have recently developed a new business plan for the whole site to demonstrate the costs, design and operational implications and overall benefits of investing in the site.
In December 2012, the Council’s Cabinet will meet to agree the proposals for the detailed design and finance options for the first phase of the development, which as a minimum will see a new frontage to the Congress theatre and its neighbouring buildings, with improvements to the interiors and new facilities for customers.
Cabinet will also consider the business plan and recommendations for the design proposals of the remainder of the site and the sequencing and phasing of these works. Approvals will be based on a robust business case, which demonstrates which proposals can be delivered within the programme, financially and operationally and which will improve the overall economic viability of Devonshire Park.
Once a preferred option is announced, the Council will need to enter into a European Tender process to agree a design and construction partner, before making a planning application to commence the first phase works. It is hoped that work on Phase 1 – to include the Congress - will begin in the Autumn of 2013.
The public are invited to visit the foyer of the Congress Theatre to view the most up to date proposals for the restoration and development of facilities at the Devonshire Park Complex.
A full consultation process is planned for the new year.