Let’s Go Hornsea Regeneration Group (LGH) was formed in 1996 by founder president and chairman Bill Underwood and became a charity in April 1997 (No. 1068 418). Bill invited representatives from the many organisations in Hornsea and the surrounding parishes to form a group that would come up with meaningful and positive regeneration ideas for the Hornsea area and was the driving force behind the group for a number of years until his death. The group consisted of representatives from East Riding of Yorkshire Council (ERYC), Hornsea Town Council, Parish Councils, Hornsea Civic Society, Hornsea & District Chamber of Trade, the Police and other organisations, together with interested individuals. The group was set up as an independent “think tank”, able to think “outside the box” and come up with innovative ideas to stimulate the town’s economy. Over the years a number of people have attended meetings on an ad hoc basis to assist with projects or draw up plans. LGH’s aim is “To promote and improve the town of Hornsea for the benefit of residents and visitors”.
Because of LGH’s status as a valid regeneration organisation Hornsea benefited from the first Market Towns Initiative, which provided £340,000 to fund a wide number of promotional projects.
Following the Market Towns Initiative, ERYC initiated the development of Hornsea Area Regeneration Partnership (HARP) and LGH was forced to change its name to Let’s Go Hornsea Community Group.
Following Bill Underwood’s death, Mike Gaunt took over as chairman and was himself responsible for a number of innovative ideas, including ‘Hornsea Quays’, which was originally included in the Shoreline Management Plan. (This project is no longer in the plan as it is not sufficiently far advanced.) Mike too worked tirelessly for the group and, following his death in 2006 the group did not meet for a year.
However, the group was revived (by mutual agreement of its members) in 2007 under the chairmanship of John Ellerby and because HARP had changed its name to Hornsea Area Renaissance Partnership, LGH reverted to its original title. John Ellerby also worked very hard for the group and was much missed following his short illness and death in 2010.
LGH campaigned for over 12 years on the Floral Hall, which was opened in July 1913. LGH campaigned to have a new, multi-purpose, cultural building erected on the present Floral Hall site and to redevelop the entire northern promenade. A local architect drew up a plan for an iconic new building in 2010 and the group, together with Yorkshire Forward, ERYC, HATS and other interested parties looked into the merits, feasibility and sustainability of such a scheme. However, in March 2012 ERYC took the decision to demolish the Floral Hall. Following a concerted protest and campaign by residents, a steering group led by local Lions’ members was given six months in which to find out if the Floral Hall could be made viable. Appointed directors subsequently took over the Floral Hall on 25 July 2013 and the hall is now being run successfully with the help of many volunteers.
LGH is presently running an art competition, open to all, to find some appropriate but exciting pictures which can be printed onto light but strong Dibond® boards by a local company and then affixed to Hornsea’s southern sea wall. This project has the backing of ERYC, Hornsea Town Council and local organisations. Such art would enliven and enhance the area for locals and visitors alike and we are presently looking for grants and/or sponsors for this project.
Thanks to sponsorship from local businesses and organisations the first seven pictures are now on view on Hornsea’s southern seawall and the project was officially launched by the vice chairman of ERYC, Councillor John Dennis on 28 August 2015.
Also, LGH is working presently with the Hornsea Area Renaissance Partnership to deliver a project with money from the High Street Fund, This project includes representation from East Riding of Yorkshire Council, Hornsea Town Council, Hornsea Chamber of Trade, Hornsea Freeport and a number of other local community Groups. The Partnership already has a number of contacts within the local business community and not for profit sector which has enabled it to develop the proposed project in line with the needs of those communities.
LGH meetings are usually held monthly on Tuesday evenings at Hornsea Town Hall and anyone with ideas or who would like to help with our projects – on a temporary or permanent basis – are always welcome. Dates and times of meetings are posted on our Facebook page.
In 1997 a group of residents, including local councillors and business owners, came together to discuss ideas for regeneration. Let’s Go Hornsea was then set up as a registered charity, a status which would allow the group to apply for funding from various sources.
To comply with charity law, a written constitution was required. The initial 1997 constitution stated that the group’s aims were: “The promotion of public and corporate interest and involvement in, and the co-ordination of action towards the regeneration of the town of Hornsea and its surrounding area, to the benefit of and with regard to expressed wishes and needs of the community at large.”
This long-winded formulation was simplified in January 1998 to: “The promotion of any charitable purpose for the benefit of Hornsea and its surrounding area.”
At the annual general meeting of 2013, Let’s Go Hornsea approved a further change to the constitution, making it clear that the group’s purpose is: “To promote and improve the town of Hornsea for the benefit of residents and visitors.”
One of the first tasks which Let’s Go Hornsea undertook was to send a questionnaire to all residents of Hornsea and its district. With input from Hornsea town council, the chamber of trade, the civic society, the crime prevention panel and East Riding of Yorkshire council, a sub-committee headed by John Kilby devised a set of open-ended questions covering traffic, shops, sports, entertainment, parks, the Mere, the Floral Hall and the seafront.
The survey attracted considerable interest, especially among young people. 2000 replies were received, from a town population of just over 8000. Almost one third of the respondents were aged 25 or under.
The results were summarised in a document called You Said It! published in 1998.
The report covered a wide range of opinions, from praise to forthright criticism and proposals for improvement, alongside brief information on possible sources of funding for local activities. A copy of the full report is held in Bridlington library.