Visit Rottingdean was formed following the demise of the Business Association, due largely to the diminishing retail membership and the increase of corporate businesses that had little or no interest in what was going on locally. It also had a consequential bearing on the reduced footfall around the village and the fact that residents were more inclined to shop elsewhere or make their purchases on line. Notwithstanding there is still a variety of innovative shops, including second-hand clothing, antique and collectables to browse around, not to mention our huge variety of pubs, restaurants and tea rooms where one can just sit and relax.
Therefore, ways and means had to be found to redress the situation and hence this new body was drawn from like minded individuals representing other organisations, that would also benefit from the influx of cursory visitors or tourists, in the hope that all of our attributes could be exploited, whereby the village would continue to flourish. Thus, in addition to the business sector there is representation from the Parish Council, the Preservation Society, Beacon Hub, SAFE, Smugglers and Rottingdean in Bloom with Associate membership consisting of Rottingdean Arts, The Whiteway Centre and our Web Site, together with Brighton & Hove Tourism Alliance and B & HCC Marketing Department.
Our first task was the revision of the Rottingdean Tourist Guide, making it a fivefold leaflet with an extra leaf for “Where to Eat, Drink and Stay” and another for “Gifts, Antiques and Collectibles”. The current project is the renewal of the 200 Club Monthly Prize Draw, which yields surplus funds for any local charitable causes or events. The next is the bi-annual revision of the village Telephone Directory, whereby each household in and around the neighbourhood is able to have one at its fingertips and whilst commercial entries are paid for, all the social clubs, societies, village institutions, national organisations and sports clubs are included free of charge.
Naturally, all the accrued residual income will not only be used on things like the village Christmas Tree and decorations, with contributions toward Smugglers Night and Rottingdean in Bloom, but local publicity such as the Brighton and Hove 60 page pocket guide “Where to Shop, Eat and Drink”, the regional “Sussex Top Attractions”, “Sussex Gardens” and the “Brighton Visitor” plus others that are of a lesser priority.
Then there is the free coverage in the various City Maps, indicating that we now have our own Visitor Information Point (VIP) in The Grange, the Family Grapevine where individual attractions such as Beacon Hill Nature Reserve, Kipling Gardens, The Grange Museum and Art Gallery are able to take their own lineage, not forgetting of course Rottingdean Arts with their own Spring and Summer performances.
Finally, there is the road signage where we must ensure that we have the up to date facilities illustrated underneath our three “Welcome to Historic Rottingdean” entry signs and to redress the lack of directional signs in Newhaven, as if we never existed. If we can sufficiently cover much of the above, then hopefully we will have put Rottingdean well and truly on the map.