The Old Town in Hastings has been named the best neighbourhood in the United Kingdom and Ireland following the Urbanism Awards Ceremony on Friday 5th November.
Overcoming strong competition from Devonshire Quarter in Sheffield and Manchester's Hulme, Hastings Old Town was awarded the crown by members of built-environment network, The Academy of Urbanism.
Following a summer assessment of the Old Town, members of the network were extremely impressed; particularly with it's ability to harness the towns history, whilst also embracing a number of contemporary features and buildings, with the Jerwood Gallery gaining special praise.
Chairman of the academy, Steven Bee, believes the popularity of the town will continue to grow. He said, "The tight network of small-scale historic streets provides an attractive and popular built character.
"The benefits are not just aesthetic however. The area is walkable, with a lively mixes of people and uses, generally comfortable with living in close proximity. Its successful fishing fleet and associated businesses are attracting new business leisure uses, strengthening its popularity.
(Mr Bee believes that the fishing Fleet of Old Town has
helped it claim it's newest accolade.)
“Our finalists, this year as every previous year, are places that offer evidence of how great places evolve from the efforts of their citizens, institutions and enterprises.
"The Academy of Urbanism celebrates the achievements of our 15 finalists and the lessons they offer to other places seeking to emulate their success.”
Furthermore, Hastings Borough Council Leader, Peter Chowney, believes the award, which is one of five awards given annually by the Academy of Urbanism, represents the "sprit" and "uniqueness" of the Old Town.
"I am delighted that we have won this award. We have always been proud of our community spirit, and this award recognises the uniqueness of our historic Old Town; the incredible mix of building styles, and of the people who live and work there.”