Earlier this week, the Prime Minister made the announcement that virtually all remaining Covid restrictions will be lifted on 19th July. This is at a time when the number of Covid cases is once again rising, but due to the vaccination programme the virus appears to be having a reduced impact on those who have been double jabbed and far less people are being hospitalized than in previous waves.
The removal of restrictions will come as welcome news to many businesses, especially retailers, hotels, restaurants and pubs, as these have suffered disproportionately from the lockdowns. With uncertainty over the rules that can be imposed at short notice when taking foreign holidays, the next couple of months will provide an important opportunity for Eastbourne, where so many residents rely upon the tourist trade for employment. I am hopeful of seeing an early boost to our local economy and am encouraged by the interest that those from outside of the town are showing in opening businesses here. Last week I was invited to visit ‘Churchills’ a splendid new Fish and Chip restaurant at the Langney Shopping Centre. This family-owned business is a great addition to the renewed centre. The owners of this shopping centre are to be congratulated on the investment that they have made, as they have transformed what was a tired old 1970s construction into something very attractive. They also understand the importance of community and have provided space for the ‘Langney Community Library’, which replaced the one which was closed by the County Council.
One of the new freedoms that I am looking forward to is the opportunity to visit the theatre once again. Sadly, the pandemic meant that the Congress had to close shortly after reopening following major refurbishment. Chris Jordan has put together an excellent programme for the next year with shows such as “The Play that Goes Wrong”; “Magic Goes Wrong”; “Bedknobs and Broomsticks”; “Waitress”; “Chicago” and “Mamma Mia” plus ballet and many famous comedians. The full programme can be found at www.eastbournetheatres.co.uk/whats-on The Royal Hippodrome also has many great shows and on 17th July will be staging “Phoney Fools and Horses”, a good laugh guaranteed. Let’s all do everything we can to support our local businesses as they emerge from Covid restrictions.