Active Beach Zone
This information applies to the Active Beach Zone strategy in Worthing
The Worthing Masterplan and subsequent Seafront Strategy promoted the concept of an Active Beach Zone. The strategies identified the lack of opportunities for active leisure, with the development of the Active Beach Zone providing a focus for more active and dynamic sports and leisure uses to cater in particular for the needs of younger visitors and families.
In the last few years our vision for an Active Beach Zone has really taken shape, with a range of projects now successfully completed and a further number of schemes currently underway.
In 2010, five Council owned beach chalets at East Beach, near to Splash Point, were converted to artists' studios allowing local artists to work collaboratively in the public arena and grow their businesses. Initially, the chalets were part of a two-year pilot project to see if this new use would be sustainable.
The chalets became known as the 'East Beach Studios' and add to the attractions on offer within the Active Beach Zone. Evaluation of the pilot project confirmed their popularity not only with the artists' community but also with the local residents & businesses and visitors to the area, and they continue to provide an ideal spot from which artists can work alongside each other.
In early 2013, there was a waiting list of over 50 artisans wishing to take a studio and the regeneration team sought approval to convert a further 10 chalets into studios, including the conversion of three chalets into one larger gallery and workshop space. Conversion works were undertaken in 2014 using funds from WSCC's Kickstart Programme for the additional ten chalets, which subsequently opened in July 2014.
For details of all the artists' and businesses' currently operating from East Beach Studios, please visit the:
In April 2009, the Regeneration Team were informed by CABE (Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment) that their bid for £500,000 of funding for Splash Point was successful. A design competition was launched immediately, with nineteen architects submitting their expressions of interest.
As one of the larger projects in the Active Beach Zone, Splash Point was completed in early 2011 and officially opened at a grand launch event on 26th March 2011.
Splash Point really does have something for everyone, and the previously bland and under-used area of the promenade has been transformed into an exciting place for local residents and visitors alike. The interactive fountain centrepiece has proved the most popular feature and as the water engages the view through every sense, it imprints the place on users of every age. The rainbow mist is a playground for children, a light show, a dynamic sound display and its very own micro climate.
See also: Splash Point (park / recreation area)
Splash Point has historically been the site of Worthing's 'Speaker's Corner', and this is celebrated within the heart of the regeneration project.
Our scheme was developed with a view to resurrect this once popular place and encourage public speeches and debate as well as providing an outdoor performance space. Set within the decorative concrete and strips of coloured glass paving, is a designated area on which performances and speeches can take place.
This has been laid using Welsh slate tiling, not only to correspond with the slate boulders but to ensure that the stage is always waiting for its next performer.
Thanks to a £32,500 grant from Sport England via Volleyball England and £17,000 from Worthing Borough Council, a sand court was built in 2011 to replace one of the disused tennis courts at Beach House Grounds, Worthing.
Adur & Worthing Councils' Regeneration Team successfully applied for the money to build the multi sport sand court. The bid was successful because it met Sport England's campaign criteria to encourage more people to play sport.
WSCC's Kickstart Programme helped to fund flood lighting for the Sand Courts and the works were completed in October 2014. The introduction of lighting will increase the opportunities for clubs and the community to use this facility, further enhancing 'What's On Offer?' in the Active Beach Zone.
Book a beach sand court
The Worthing Sand Courts are currently managed by Stefan Sykes of Coast Café on Worthing's seafront and Kirsty Starmer of Sussex Beach Volleyball Club. The sand courts can be hired out for volleyball as well as several other sports including sand soccer and rugby. Corporate Team Days and Children's Parties are also catered for.
Phase 1 - Trial period - Completed Sept 2014
Following its initial opening in Summer 2014, the Splash Pad at the Gap received many supportive comments and suggestions during the trial period.
These were all passed through to our engineers prior to the planning for the Phase 2 works.
Phase 2 works - Completed July 2015
The remaining landscaping works and improvements were undertaken in 2015, and completed in time for the Velodrome event adjacent to the facility during the first weekend in August 2015.
The Phase 2 Works included:
- Provision of new seating including standard benches and pebble shaped feature seating to enhance the beach theme of the area
- Low level timber fencing will be installed around the boundary of the seating area
- Installation of two GoBo projectors to project images onto the surface of the splash pad
- Enlarging the overall area around the water play area
- Installing new paving to modernise and enhance the look of the area
- Maintaining the link footpaths through Beach House Grounds
The final phase of the Splash Point Regeneration Project was completed with the opening of a Beach Garden to the east of Splash Point.
On 7th May 2012 Sir Peter Bottomley MP dedicated the garden to the memory of the lifeboat crews and fishermen. Peter Huxtable MBE, Coxswain of the Shoreham Lifeboat from 1991 to 2011, replied on behalf of the RNLI.
Worthing Borough Council was awarded approximately £170,000 of funding through the European 2 Seas Programme for a project aimed to support Tourism businesses and the visitor economy in Worthing. The Regeneration Team formed a partnership with 10 other towns across England, France, Belgium and the Netherlands to put together a project called 'Seaconomics' which has funded a number of initiatives aimed at growing the tourism sector.
Part of the funding has been used to pay for Gull Island, the children's play area on Beach House Grounds in Worthing adjacent to the beach sand sports courts. There was also a small fund available for multi-lingual signs and further promenade/beach chalet improvements in the Splash Point area. This part of the EU funding was matched by Worthing Borough Council's own capital budget.
The playground, aimed predominantly at the under eight years age group, was built during the summer of 2012 and named as 'Gull Island'. It was officially opened to the public by Richard Ashworth MEP on Saturday 20th October 2012 at a celebration of our European connections.
The scheme was funded 50% by Worthing Borough Council and 50% by the EU's Interreg IV 2 Seas Programme through the Council's successful Seaconomics Project.
Continuing the success of the European 2 Seas Programme 'Seaconomics', Worthing Borough Council were pleased to secure further funding to assist in realising a little more of the vision for the Active Beach Zone, this time from closer to home.
WSCC's Kickstart Programme was a partnership between West Sussex County Council and all seven local district and borough councils to boost the local economy. A wide range of projects were designed to promote growth, maintain and create jobs, and attract new investment from the private sector. In 2014, Kickstart helped to deliver real and sustainable benefits across a variety of sectors from construction to retail, and business to tourism.
As well as providing assistance to expand the East Beach Studios, improve the electricity supply available at Coast Café and within Beach House Grounds, install flood lighting at the Sand Courts and provide a new water play facility, Kickstart helped to renovate the Lower East Beach Kiosk, which was subsequently leased to Baker Academy, and now provides Worthing's first beach front water sport activity centre.
In March 2014 a new outdoor gym, consisting of a range of ten pieces of equipment, was created at Windsor Lawns to compliment the picnic area. In addition to this a table tennis facility has just been installed, with table tennis bats and balls available to hire for a small charge from Eat's Kitchen at 98-100 Brighton Road, Worthing
The final project in the Kickstart Programme is the conversion of the Windsor Road Shelter, to make it suitable to let to a concessional business. The refurbishment works are due to take place in early 2016, ready to open in Summer 2016
(images copyright © Claire Perry)
Need assistance with this service?
Get in touch:
Place & Economy Team
Page last updated: 03 February 2023