Disability grant supports Bexhill beach project

ACCESS to the beach in Bexhill is being improved thanks to a local community group project supported by Rother District Council.

The project by W.Ave Arts Bexhill, a not-for-profit community organisation, will make it easier for people with disabilities to gain access to the beach by providing a new ramp and beach matting creating a pathway across the shingle.

A grant of almost £12,000 from the council’s Discretionary Disabled Projects Grant scheme will enable the group to complete the project.

Representatives from the partners involved met at the beach recently as work got underway to celebrate the successful grant funding. Those present included Carol Cook from W.Ave Arts Bexhill, and Cllr Terry Byrne, lead member for housing and homes at the District Council.

Cllr Byrne said: “I am delighted that W.Ave Arts Bexhill have been able to start their beach access project which will enhance the seafront experience for more of our residents and visitors to the town.

“I’m also very proud that Rother District Council has helped to make this happen with funding from our Discretionary Disabled Projects Grant scheme.

“This project is just one of a number of recent access improvement schemes across the district, including in Battle, Bexhill, Bodiam, Ewhurst, Fairlight, Icklesham, Rye and Sedlescombe, that have been supported by the council.”

Work on the Bexhill beach access project has begun and will be managed by local company Total Project Management. It is hoped it will be completed by the end of March, in time for the upcoming summer season.

Carol Cook, from W.Ave Arts, said “Everyone has the right to enjoy all facilities without discrimination, so let’s design public spaces for all. In this case, so that everyone can enjoy and access the beach, whether with loved ones, friends or independently.

“When you receive an email saying your grant has been accepted it makes every hour of our time put in worth it. We are so grateful to Rother District Council for seeing the need for such an impactful project.”

Howard Martin, from Bexhill Chamber of Commerce, added: “We’re excited to see this project finally taking shape – it shows that by working together with our community we can achieve so much.”

The Bexhill beach initiative is just one example of a number of access improvement projects that have been supported by the council in recent months.

Other projects include over £6,500 for a playground accessible roundabout in Sedlescombe, £1,500 for modifications to an existing ramp at Fairlight Village Hall to improve access, over £1,500 for a new accessible path and accessible picnic benches in Fairlight and £10,000 for British Sign Language community signs for children’s play areas in Battle, Bexhill, Bodium and Rye.

Rother District Council’s Discretionary Disabled Projects Grant scheme is designed to provide grant funding for community disability projects to eligible voluntary and community groups, parish councils, faith groups, and non-for-profit organisations.

The grants are intended to support smaller projects that are easily deliverable, and which promote access to buildings and spaces for the general public.

Published: 16th March 2022