Historic Eastbourne landmark to be restored to former glory to boost tourism through share of £85m Getting Building Fund from South East LEP. The final list of 34 projects that will receive funding from the South East Local Enterprise Partnership’s (SELEP) £85 million share of the Government’s new Getting Building Fund has been announced, and includes a £1.6 million investment into the restoration of the historic Winter Garden pavilion in Eastbourne.
The Winter Garden is a Grade 2-listed Victorian pavilion that will be restored to its former glory as a cultural destination of regional importance that supports and enhances Eastbourne’s year-round visitor economy. The project – which will generate an additional £1 million uplift to the local economy – is vital to Eastbourne’s post-COVID economic recovery. The project will create 50 new jobs and safeguard a further 10, as well as creating 53 construction jobs.
Caroline Ansell MP, Eastbourne said: “This £1.6 million Government grant for the Winter Garden is a vital part of the plan for the Devonshire Quarter and will go a long way to put Eastbourne on the map as a top cultural destination along the South Coast.
“As we look to overcome the present challenges, the Government’s investment in our economy now is crucial to save local livelihoods and jobs in our renowned hospitality sector. This is an exciting project and significant to the town’s heritage.”
GETTING BUILDING FUND Government’s new £900 million Getting Building Fund has been created to invest in local infrastructure projects to drive economic growth in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. With an £85 million share, SELEP successfully secured the largest allocation for any LEP area in the UK.
In mid-July, SELEP Directors met to review and narrow down the previously submitted longlist by focusing on projects that can progress quickly but will also stimulate and better integrate economies in some of the most economically impacted and COVID-affected parts of the South East. A total of £11,179,793 has been secured for projects across East Sussex.
Projects on the final list cover a wide range of areas in need of support including digital capabilities so companies can adapt; COVID-secure workspaces for businesses; skills development to help workers either retrain for a new industry or further develop skills; and the clean growth agenda. The impetus given to these ensure that sites are unlocked, and that the creation of new jobs is stimulated across the whole of the area.
There are also several projects that will accelerate and extend the rollout of full-fibre broadband across Essex, Kent and Medway to provide greater connectivity to some of the most rural regions across the SELEP area.
SELEP Chair Christian Brodie said: “We are delighted that government has recognised the excellent projects and potential that the South East has to drive forward our economy at this challenging time. These projects have been carefully selected to target those areas and industries particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 and those that can progress, at pace, to support economic recovery. The South East LEP has a proven track record of delivering successful projects and has been working really closely with our local areas to understand what our businesses need and where investment will have significant impact.
“Over the last few months, we as a LEP have been providing support to local businesses. Our Growth Hubs have been providing advice to struggling businesses and directing businesses to funding support. We have also been reworking our own existing funding pots to create new COVID-19 funds for businesses, infrastructure investment and skills training.
“We truly believe that the South East will help lead the country out of the crisis and into recovery. The Getting Building Fund provides the next phase of financial stimulus to restart our economy.”
LEPs were asked to put forward proposals for shovel-ready projects that could be delivered within the next 18 months. SELEP submitted a £573 million bid to Government for a long-list of 170 projects.

You can read more about SELEP’s bid to Government here: