SUMMER has come early for Littlehampton after the town’s beach was yet again hailed as one of the nation’s best.
Last week, Littlehampton was named as one of just a handful to scoop two coveted accolades; the Blue Flag Award and the Seaside Award.
The prizes reward the beach’s top facilities, cleanliness and, in the case of the Blue Flag award, meeting the highest international standard of water quality.
This is the eight year running Littlehampton has been praised for its quality seafront.
Now, the hope is that with the award safely in the town’s hands, combined with the completed riverside works in Pier Road, that this summer could be the town best one in recent years.
Councillor Paul Dendle, Arun District Council’s cabinet member for the environment certainly believed there was potential for a spike in seasonal trade.
“It’s obviously excellent news for Littlehampton being the only Blue Flag beach in Sussex,” he said. “It’s also a fundamental building block in the economy of Littlehampton in terms of tourism.
“To have a Blue Flag beach makes a very attractive proposition for tourists from further afield visiting us.”
Simon Vickers, chairman of Littlehampton Traders’ Partnership, agreed.
He said: “I think any positive publicity is going to benefit a town and the beach, seafront and the river are the jewels in the crown of Littlehampton’s tourism.
“So having retained the Blue Flag can really only be a good thing.”
The flags were raised on the town’s coastguard beach by pupils from River Beach Primary School, Arun chairman, councillor Dougal Maconachie, former Littlehampton mayor Jill Long, and Mr Paul Dendle.
Mr Maconachie has since praised the hard work of everyone involved in maintaining both beaches to such a high standard.
Describing the award as a ‘proud day for us all’ he added: “This is great news for Arun and is a sign of our commitment to keeping our beaches clean and safe for both tourists and locals alike.
The Blue Flag programme is administered by Keep Britain Tidy and is managed internationally by the Foundation for Environmental Education.
Littlehampton is just one of 12 beaches in the south-east to win the award.