August 2022: Wealden is applying for a grant of £19.8m to help towards the cost of a new £43m Health and Wellbeing Hub as phase one of the ambitious Hailsham Aspires scheme to regenerate Hailsham town centre.

The plans encompass a new leisure centre – to replace the existing ageing Freedom Leisure Centre – with a range of new facilities promoting physical activity for all, and a long-awaited new medical centre co-located with the leisure centre, and shared amenities supporting better health outcomes. 

The full press release can be viewed here A bid for almost £20m of the government’s Levelling up Fund has been made by Wealden District Council.

April 2022: Following a detailed review of volatile factors surrounding the Hailsham Aspires project, the project sponsor board reconfirmed their decision to proceed initially with a combined medical and leisure centre, meeting the early health and wellbeing aspirations of the whole scheme. A single stage design and build delivery model was agreed, and a specialist design team appointed.

January 2022: Project Sponsor Board confirms delivery of the co-located medical and leisure hub as phase 1 on part of the Vicarage Lane car park, which is owned and controlled by Wealden District Council. They also approved the procurement of a specialist multi-disciplinary design team to progress the specification for the hub.

December 2021: After extensive review of the large amount of technical project work to date, and further analysis of numerous alternative options, the project sponsor board decides on a combined medical and leisure facility as the first tranche to deliver on the Hailsham Aspires objectives.

This is in line with the mid-term review of Council objectives which include improving health, resilience and wellbeing, working with partners to regenerate our diverse market towns, reduce health inequalities by encouraging and promoting better leisure, sporting and recreational facilities.

Wealden Cabinet approves £9m Community Infrastructure Levy funding to contribute to the costs of a new indoor leisure centre and integrated healthcare facilities in Hailsham town centre as part of the Hailsham Aspires project, a new community sports hub near Hellingly, and a new teaching pool at Crowborough Leisure Centre.

April 2021: Project sponsor board discusses the pros and cons of a reduced scheme, looking at a range of issues, such as financial viability, methods of delivery, regeneration priorities for the town and the potential impact on the Council’s own medium term financial strategy. It is clear that there is scope to move forward, but more work is needed before a firm decision can be taken.

January 2021: Analysis by the project design team demonstrates that taking account of the various constraints on the proposed site (heritage considerations, planning policies, topography etc), the available capacity within the original project red line boundary meets just 22% of the aspirations set out in the project brief.

In the light of this, and the continuing economic uncertainties caused by the pandemic, supply chain issues and increasing costs within the construction sector, the project sponsor board decides to pause, and take time to review how best to refine the project brief.

October 2020: Following on from an initial successful consultation period in 2019 with more than 800 respondents, Hailsham Aspires is now launching further stakeholder engagement to understand thoughts on the project brief and guiding principles for the Hailsham Aspires masterplan.

We are currently engaging with key stakeholders to understand thoughts on the foundations of the development’s masterplan and will be launching a wider public consultation stage in January 2021 so that everyone has an opportunity to have their say on the masterplan. 

The full press release can be viewed here; ‘Hailsham Aspires’ Launches Next Stage of Consultation

July 2020: Phase Two of the Hailsham Aspires project to enhance the town centre has begun. This involves drawing up a range of possible options for the layout and zoning of the Vicarage Field site, ahead of a further stage of public consultation. Brighton-based Architects Conran and Partners are taking the lead after the Hailsham Aspires Sponsor Board approved the draft project brief. This was presented by project managers, Mott MacDonald. Once the range of options becomes clearer, there will be opportunities for everyone with an interest in the future sustainability of the town centre to get involved.

The full press release can be viewed here; Next Steps for Hailsham Aspires

May 2020: Award-winning architects Conran and Partners have been appointed to lead the design brief for the prestigious Hailsham Aspires project. Conran and Partners is joined on the Hailsham Aspires design team by environmental engineers Hilson Moran, civil and structural engineers AKT II, planning consultants Lambert Smith Hampton, and community engagement specialists Snapdragon at PLMR. Mott MacDonald, global management, engineering and development consultants, have been appointed to project manage the proposed town centre regeneration scheme. They will co-ordinate the design team and provide development, project and cost management services.

The full press release announcing the appointment of the Hailsham Aspires design team can be viewed here; Top team lined up for Hailsham Aspires

Feb 2020: The findings of the Hailsham Aspires consultation point the way ahead for a future-looking, modern market town which respects its existing heritage. Residents and visitors would like to see more green and open spaces in the heart of the town, restaurants, a public space for cultural activities and easier access.The first phase of consultation ran from 12 August 2019 to 12 November 2019. The focus at this stage was to explore the aspirations of those that live, work in or visit Hailsham for the next 10-15 years. These views will now help us to inform the design team in their work to bring forward regeneration proposals for the Vicarage Field shopping area, District Council offices, the Leisure Centre and the nearby car parks. Further opportunities to get involved and input into the design will be available in due course.

The full press release , including a link to the full report can be viewed here; Aspiring for a better Hailsham