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Philip Evans


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SEATON: ‘We’re open for business’

Thursday, 06 March 2014


DESPITE the recent storms Seaton is going from strength to strength with the prospect of some very exciting initiatives coming to fruition over the coming months. 
The overriding message from all the organisations involved in the regeneration of the town in their meeting this week was that Seaton is very much open for business and looking forward to a busy year ahead.
The Seaton Regeneration Programme Board heard positive updates from a number of projects including Seaton Jurassic, the new visitor centre; the Town Development Team; Seaton workshops; and the Axe Wetlands.
These, along with planned new developments at Seaton Quay, Seaton Heights and the land adjacent to the Tesco store, mean a bright future for the town. 
Board members also heard how Seaton Tram is responding innovatively to recent storm damage with two trams being moved by road to enable a service to between Colyford and Colyton. The whole line is expected to be back in service in good time for Easter.
 Councillor Ian Thomas, East Devon District Council’s Cabinet Member for Economy and Chair of the Board, said: “It was heartening to hear such unanimously positive reports about Seaton’s future, from all Board members.
“With building work expected to start in the summer on Seaton Jurassic, the new facilities at the Axe Wetlands already welcoming visitors and the additional support going to local businesses, there is much to look forward to. 
“Visitors, residents and businesses will all benefit from this resurgence of the town and especially its tourist economy.”
Build is due to start at The Underfleet on Seaton Jurassic in the summer, subject to successful bids for funding from the Coastal Communities Fund and the Heritage Lottery Fund. The outcome of these is expected in the very near future with the visitor centre due to open late in 2015.
 The Town Development Team, who came together to promote Seaton to visitors and businesses, has been working hard behind the scenes on building a brand for the town to be launched later this year.
The Team has also been instrumental in the hugely successful Artisan Markets - the next one to be held on Saturday, March 8th as part of the GrizFest weekend. 
The two days of events culminates in the gruelling Grizzly race which starts and finishes on Seaton seafront with over 2000 runners taking part. 
The board agreed further funding for the Town Development Team to purchase gazebos for use at many events and to support local shops, cafes and businesses through an online marketplace resource. 
 New workshops at Fosseway Park and Colyford Road will provide further investment and opportunity for new business and job creation.
These are subject to planning consent and securing funding but could be available for tenants by August 2015. 
 The Axe Wetlands has seen more improvements over the winter months with a new classroom, accessible paths and additional viewing platform. 
These have contributed to a very successful winter programme of events and a new, exciting spring and summer timetable begins next month. 
More of the Stop Line Way cycle way is also expected to open later in the spring encouraging visitors to travel in and out of Seaton the healthy way.
 Councillor Steph Jones, East Devon District Council’s Seaton champion and local resident, said: “I see around the town businesses sprucing up their premises, new shops opening and a real enthusiasm for the town. For the beach and town clean up this weekend we a have been inundated with volunteers showing the commitment of local people to ensure a welcoming, friendly town that is open for business and ready for another successful year.”
The Seaton Regeneration Programme Board consists of representatives from the local community and businesses along with officers and members of the county, district and town councils.

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