We made it.
A 56 page economic plan, with an eight page supplement was sent to the Department for Communities and Local Government on 31st March 2017. With the guidance and creativity of the Hythe Coastal Community Team steering meetings, we just did it. Thank-you.
The key themes in the plan emerged from the workshops and research were:
To create a more connected Hythe, improving transport and high speed broadband connectivity to sustain a growing population
To develop a cohesive Hythe brand identity to increase its recognition and diversify employment base
To improve visitor numbers and improve the experience, by positioning distinct packaged offer
To create a sense of place for the community to improve quality of life and reflect the needs of the social mix for young and old
To partner and engage with like-minded local communities to respond to collective needs
For each theme, we’ve compiled a list of projects with costs and timescales. We think some of these can be achieved in six months; others will take 20 years or longer.
Now for the hard work. On 7th April 2017, we received confirmation from the Department for Communities and Local Government that they have received the plan and are considering it. We’ll call another meeting in the next few weeks to give you a more detailed briefing on the plan, with digital physical copies of it. It’s a document that we plan to continually update, and we don’t think it’s right to print it more than one or two copies. However, we are assembling a condensed version of it to put on the website.
Getting our priorities straight.
It would be easy to be overwhelmed with the creativity, quality and quantity of ideas the team has generated. We can’t do them all. Concentrating on a few projects is more likely to bring success than a less focused approach, however well-meaning.
The team meeting on 1st March was about setting priorities. If energy and commitment were our only success criteria, then we could stop now. There was an enjoyable buzz, enthusiasm and dynamism in our meeting room as team members rotated round the flip charts with yellow stickies.
While all the five themes got plenty of attention, it was helping tourists to discover Hythe (‘Destination Hythe’) that got the most attention. You can read copies of all five flip charts below (please wait while it loads, or click on the download link).
Paralleling these activities, the project management team have also been working on qualitative market research to validate some of our ideas, in copy-writing and designing the report, networking with national government agencies and updating the website.
We are into the final month. At our next meeting on 15th March 2017 at 5pm in the committee room at Oaklands, we’ll have updated content and design of the report, some results from the market research, and a final plan leading to submission by 31st March. We need you to help us through the final few weeks. You are needed now, more than ever. Please put the date in your diary.
Steadily does it.
At our team meeting on 13th February, we reviewed progress so far, and started to generate some project ideas. Time is very short, and we must submit a our bid before the deadline of 31st March 2017.
Themes and projects discussed included: RHDR extension, themed tourism (food, war walks, pilgrimage trail, seaside and canal heritage), and working with other towns toward a joint bid.
At the next meeting we’ll present some qualitative market research findings, the themes and most likely projects we will be proposing, and a preview of what we have in mind for the final report. We’ll also have some workshops where we will need views on our key themes.
Please let me know if you can be there by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
You can view or download the presentation from the start of the meeting below.
Hythe Coastal Community Team
It’s all moving along nicely.
At its meeting of 02 February, the team looked ‘over the horizon’ to the year 2037. What will success look like? How will we know that we are making the right long term decisions?
Automation will be everywhere, work and life patterns will have changed, the UK will have long exited the European Union. Hythe’s population is already older than both Shepway District and Kent, and there is no information to suggest this will change.
There are some safe assumptions about life in 2037. There will still be a coastline, even if rising sea levels changes its shape. There will still be Hythe’s fantastic history. There will still be residents who care passionately about the town.
Will Hythe’s distinctiveness last for the next twenty years? The team identified this collection of values that they think Hythe people hold dear: Historic, Distinctive, Inclusive, Diverse, Quirky, Coastal, Beautiful, Old town, Ancient heritage, Steep landscape. Do you agree with this list? What would you add or take away? What would you like to see in an economic plan to ensure these values last into the next 20 years?
In late summer and autumn of 2016, a small team of Hythe Town Councillors and council officers created a bid to the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) for seed funding to obtain a Coastal Comunities Grant.
On 20th January, the government announced that Hythe had been successful. Now, the team has started work on an economic plan which must be submitted to DCLG by 31st March 2017.
With the increase in population of Hythe over the next years due to the construction of 2,000 houses at Martello Lakes and Shorncliffe Heights, there will be a need to provide training and apprenticeships to support young people continuing to work in Hythe. The town has a relatively high number of children and teenagers, but there are limited opportunities for local employment. With high rental prices compared to nearby towns, younger people tend to move away from the town resulting in an ageing population. Due to the changes in pension regulations, the older generation has to work longer and possibly travel away from the town to find employment. The loss of one or two key employers in the town, together with the reduction of Hythe’s unique fishing fleet has also had an impact on local employment.
Hythe is a stunningly attractive town, but the town has complex issues which must be addressed. It cannot stay the same forever. The aim is to ensure that Hythe continues to flourish as a vibrant community for the future. We need to execute on a robust plan if Hythe is to stem the haemorrhage of young people and if the town is to thrive.
We’ve already made a start on creating an economic plan with the original core team. But we want more views, more input and a team that includes the opinions of as many people as want to help. Email us at admin@Hythe-Kent.com and we’ll get back to you.