PROUD Southwick residents have rallied together to form a group dedicated to regenerating the town.
The Southwick Together steering committee was formed following a public meeting at the Cricketers pub, and Sue Schofield has been elected chairman.
“The response has been overwhelming and it really does show that we are Southwick Together and together we are going to put Southwick back on the map,” said Sue, adding that the town was ‘in need of some TLC’.
“We have so many willing hands and people who are passionate about Southwick that we are all working together to make it a reality.”
Membership is open to all Southwick residents and people can join the group on Facebook.
Sue hopes the first meeting will be in late October at the Twitten Club.
She said both Southwick and Fishersgate were very neglected, while a lot of money had been spent in Shoreham and Lancing.
“It’s vital for the regeneration of Southwick in terms of economic prosperity and to let the world know what a wonderful place Southwick is,” she added. Sue pointed out Southwick’s many amenities, including the ‘wonderful’ Southwick Community Centre, the Barn Theatre, and Manor Hall which she described as ‘an absolute treasure’.
Sue also spoke of the town’s ‘vibrant music scene’ and ‘wonderful architecture’, and said she had been overwhelmed by the enthusiasm and eagerness to get the group up and running.
“If we are willing to do it, let’s see if the council is willing to reciprocate,” she said.
The group’s aims include restoring the one hour free parking in Southwick Square, improving the street scene, putting up hanging baskets, working with schools to reduce litter in a community clean-up, and improving communication between generations.
“It’s about getting young people to see that Southwick is a nice place to live,” said Sue. “I think the built environment can change people’s attitudes and start to instil that feeling of ‘this is where I live and I’m proud of it and I care about it’,” said Sue.
The group attracted more than 300 members in its first ten days.
It hopes to work in conjunction with Southwick Square Traders Association.