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Boats at Sovereign Harbour, Eastbourne

Sovereign Harbour Community Centre

Currently, SHRA has no involvement in the running of the Community Centre.  All enquiries should be made to Wave Leisure Trust.  Regular events are taking place and bookings can be discussed on 01323 509859 or 07936 364015.

List of hire charges...  
Floor plan... 
List of current events... 
Vacancy for a part-time caretaker... 
Grand Opening Day poster (Saturday 21 March)... 

We are happy to promote your community centre events on the SHRA website and in Waterlines if you let us know about them.  webmaster@shra.co.uk

The History

Ever since its establishment in 2000, SHRA campaigned for a purpose-built community centre as envisaged by the developers in the original plans.  Despite promises and commitments by the developers and local Councils over the ensuing years, it was not until 2015 that a plan was submitted for the construction of a community centre on Site 5 opposite the Yacht Club.

Eastbourne Borough Council (EBC) appointed Sea Change Sussex, a not-for-profit economic development company, to oversee delivery of the project. Wave Leisure Trust, a charitable not-for-profit trust, was commissioned by the Council to assist the Sovereign Harbour Community Association (SHCA - see panel on right), on all aspects of managing the community centre.

Site changed and size reduced

In 2016, the Site 5 land was found to be contaminated and was withdrawn.  An alternative area was offered on Site 7 for a reduced-size centre.  SHRA and SHCA thought that the offered location was unsuitable, and believed that the reduced size made their commercial plans unviable.  They decided to sever their involvement in the project.

Another new site

In early 2017, EBC and East Sussex County Council (ESCC) announced that they had acquired a plot of land for the community centre on Site 6, adjacent to the road leading into the Retail Park.  A pathway would connect it to The Waterfront car parks, and a service road would be built across the Innovation Park from Pacific Drive for disabled access, deliveries and refuse collection.  The service road would also give access to future commercial development on Site 6.

Construction

With Sea Change Sussex overseeing the project, construction begun in mid 2017 and the service road was quickly completed.  Although the main construction work was completed within a year, the fitting out of the building and the connection of the utilities was delayed many times.  Somewhat premature, drop-in launch events were arranged by EBC in March 2018 at Pacific House. These gave information about the centre and sought residents views on uses for the centre. Click here for event's flyer...  It was not until December 2019 that events were able to take place in the centre.

Management

As noted above, EBC appointed Wave Leisure Trust to assist the SHCA on all aspects of managing the community centre.  Following the SHCA's withdrawal from the project, Wave Leisure Trust will oversee the management of the Centre until other arrangements can be made. The SHRA committee is concerned that  currently there is no direct local involvement in the running of the community centre.

Community Centre as shown on Planning Document
Community Centre Entrance

Managed by

Wave Leisure Trust

Sport Eastbourne Sites
Wave Leisure Trust Ltd
Downs Leisure Centre
Sutton Road
Seaford
BN25 4QW

tel: 01323 509859
mobile: 07394 565471
email: info@waveleisure.co.uk
website: www.waveleisure.co.uk

Possible Uses

Sovereign Harbour Community Association

The Harbour Community Association (HCA) was established in 2010 with the objective of identifying the social requirements of the Sovereign Harbour community and enabling the provision of venues.  A longer term aim was to secure the community centre and to maintain and manage it in co-operation with other interested parties.

In 2012 the Community Association achieved charitable status from the Charity Commission and changed its name to Sovereign Harbour Community Association (SHCA). Council grants were obtained to enable the renting of facilities and purchase equipment. Members of SHRA were deemed to also be members of SHCA.

During 2013 and 2014 SHCA was involved with preparations for the Eastbourne Carnival and the Harbour Charity Walk.  A SHCA Short Mat Bowls Club, meeting at the Haven school, continued to flourish.

In 2015, when plans for the community centre on Site 5 were submitted, the SHCA turned its full attention to assisting the project by preparing a proper business plan and raising funds for the building's fittings and equipment. A great deal of time and effort was put in, and several additional funding sources were found and primed.

When in 2016 the Site 5 plan was withdrawn and the size of the proposed centre was reduced, SHCA, along with SHRA, withdrew their involvement in the project believing that the reduced size made the diligently produced SHCA business plan unviable. 

At the time of writing (Dec 2019), the SHCA is inactive and its Bowls Club has changed its name (although it does now meet in the community centre). SHCA remains registered with the Charity Commission and we understand that  the money it collected from residents, SHRA and others  for kitting out the community centre is held in a secure fund and may not be used for any other purpose.