By Dave Young

Construction of a new water feature has begun at White Rock, turning a defunct fountain into a landmark seafront feature. An ‘exploded rock’ sculpture, paying tribute to the original White Rock – blown up nearby in 1834 – will be surrounded by jets to create a cooling ‘sea mist’ effect, which visitors may walk through on sunny days. 

“It’s innovative, exciting, and makes Hastings seafront more of a place to visit on the south coast,” commented Cllr Warren Davies of the design by architects Saville Jones.

The work will replace the existing White Rock Fountain, created in 1987 (and itself successor to a 1920s design), decommissioned after several years due to excessive water use and running costs. Funds have been provided both from the Hastings Coastal Communities budget and by the Foreshore Charitable Trust.

Sue Beaney, lead councillor for the charity committee at Hastings Borough Council, said: “A long- term local eyesore will be transformed… the new water feature uses rock, misters and lighting to create a wonderful reminder of ‘White Rock’. There will also be planting to complement its coastal location and new seating for people to meet, sit and enjoy the space and promenade.

“The Coastal Communities project targets the growth of the White Rock and nearby areas into a destination in its own right. This includes business space in Rock House, improving Rock Alley to allow for events, markets and a pocket park. Business training and support, a marketing campaign, and an extension to the free public wi-fi network have also been part of the project.”

The construction area will be closed during the build, but the promenade will remain open. The Source Park ramp areas will close for two weeks in early August, however the skatepark shop will remain open during this time. It’s hoped to complete the work by October this year.

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