2017 Socio Economic Impact Assessment and Wayfinding Report
Recommendations are summarised as follows:
Recommendation 1: Develop a Selsey Haven Funding Strategy
The potential benefits of the Haven rest on securing public resource for its construction or firmer evidence of private sector interest in associated developments that are dependent on its construction. Without this investment, there appear to be significant risks to the viability of Selsey’s fishing industry over the medium to long-term.
Recommendation 2: Commission a Soft Market Testing Exercise to Establish Private Sector Investment Interest
The Funding Partnership should consider commissioning a soft market testing exercise to test the appetite and interest of relevant maritime or harbour institutions, which may have an interest in the long-term operational management of Selsey Haven. Such an exercise would test the level of private sector interest, potential investment opportunities and may help to identify further commercial development opportunities that may be needed to ensure that a sustainable and financially stable Selsey Haven can be delivered.
Recommendation 3: Develop trails and improve signage
The links between East Beach and the Town centre are not as strong as they could be. They would be enhanced through an effective wayfinding and signage strategy informed by community consultation.
A good-value and short-term solution would be to create interpretation wayfinding trails, connecting the town centre with East and West Beaches and connecting East and West Beaches themselves. Similar trails for cyclists could cover a wider area in the Manhood Peninsula.
A proven and robust solution could be to embed designs into the paving/ground works from the high street (and back) along the pedestrian walkways and the peninsula seafronts. Typically made from metal – e.g. steel, brass – the interventions that would make up the trails could be developed and agreed through a community engagement and consultation programme.
Recommendation 4: New Temporary Commercial Units or Concession Opportunities
Whilst the Haven project progresses through the funding and planning stages, the Funding Partnership should consider developing and delivering short term incremental investment opportunities that align with the Haven’s overall ambitions, but which could see economic benefits and returns to the town more quickly and at lower risk.
This could include locating temporary ‘containers’ or units and concession opportunities for food or retail units that could help local fisherman and others to sell local catch and other produce, with the aim of attracting additional visitors to the area or retaining a greater proportion of spend from existing visitors.
Recommendation 5: Employ a Seafood Co-ordinator
The Selsey Fishermen’s Association already provides a co-ordinating function for Selsey’s fishermen and has started initiatives to improve the links between the industry and the town. However, there may also be merit in seeking funding to recruit a Seafood Broker who would act as an administrator and sales co-ordinator on behalf of the fishing community to secure licences, comply with regulations and develop partnerships and initiatives to improve the profile of the fishing industry within Selsey and across Sussex, positioning it as a key Sussex Food and Drink partner.
Recommendation 6: Develop and Host Crab and Lobster Events
An established Haven would provide a clear focal point for a Crab and Lobster Festival, which could showcase the local produce, provide demonstrations and competitions on how to dress and eat crab and lobster.
The new Seafood Champion could work with Bunn Leisure to design and host food festivals and events in their Leisure Park, thereby taking local produce and activities direct to a wider customer base.
Recommendation 7: Improve the Public Realm at East Beach
The public realm around East Beach is currently unattractive and would need to be enhanced with or without a Haven. This has to involve working with businesses occupying the commercial units to establish in more detail how best to store equipment, contain unpleasant odours and improve the exteriors of the units so that the area appears more cared for and inviting.
This could also include repositioning the East Beach Kiosk so that it becomes a stronger focus for local produce, and improving signage and access to other direct sales outlets in the area.