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Tourism & Leisure
Tourism & Leisure
Mr Eastbourne To Say Farewell
At the completion of 18 years illustrious, dedicated and professional service at Eastbourne Borough Council Ron Cussons, aka ‘Mr Eastbourne’ will retire from the post that he made his own.
As Director of Tourism and Leisure Ron’s unique style and huge expertise brought the Eastbourne ‘brand’ into homes and business’ across the country and as a consequence made himself synonymous with this part of the South Coast and the quality attractions it has to offer.

Ron started in Eastbourne in April 1986 following a successful tour of duty at the City of Bradford Metropolitan Council where he was the Special Events and Entertainment Manager. While there Ron was responsible for the refurbishment of the St George's Concert Hall and Alhambra Theatre and introduced Bradford as a tourism destination. Prior to this he developed the new Southport Theatre into an international venue. In 15 years with Thorn/EMI/Delfont Ron toured summer shows, panto’s and groups such as The Beatles, Diana Ross, Cliff Richard, The Rolling Stones and many more.

At Eastbourne Ron has helped orchestrate countless developments and improvements to the Tourism offer in the Town including the Sovereign Centre, Treasure Island, Shinewater Park, Devonshire Park International Tennis Centre, Sports Park and Pavilion Tea Rooms. Ron has played a key role in numerous projects involving multi million pound investment such as the Marina, Eastern Promenade and Seafront Strategy, and staged events such as Tennis Championships and Airbourne that attract millions of visitors. On a national level Ron is a long serving and respected member of the British Resorts Association, holding the position of Chairman for the last 7 years and utilising his talents on tourism strategy across the British Isles.

Unsurprisingly under Ron’s stewardship Eastbourne has won many accolades including Best UK Resort, Most Friendly Theatres, Britain in Bloom, Most Group Friendly UK Destination, Blue Flag seaside awards, Sports Centre of the Year - Hampden Park, Tea Guild of Excellence – Pavilion Tea Rooms. 1/3
Councillors, the local business community and stakeholders far and wide have been quick to add their voice to the chorus of support for the loyal and meritorious service to Eastbourne that Ron is credited for.

The Leader of the Council Councillor, Beryl Healy said:

‘They broke the mould when they made Ron Cussons and I will be very sad to say goodbye to him. He has performed above and beyond the call of duty and is impossible to replace. Eastbourne owes him a debt of gratitude for his great achievements in our wonderful Town.’

The Chief Executive of Eastbourne Borough Council, Martin Ray said:

‘Ron is good friend as well as an incredibly hard working colleague. Over the years we have both seen great changes in the Borough, some more challenging than others. But throughout these times Ron’s overwhelming capacity for long hours, hard work and enthusiasm has remained intact. His retirement is as well earned, as anyone’s I‘ve ever known.’

The Chairman of the Hotels Association, Peter Hawley said:

‘The Hotels Association have relied on the support of Ron Cussons for many years. Hoteliers in the Town are obviously always keen to have a good and productive relationship with the local authority and thanks to Ron that situation has always been maintained. He is a first class communicator, a great team player and we will all miss him very much.’

Although Ron is now able to look forward to a welcome break from his daily hectic schedule, he is determined to ensure various key projects are left in good health prior to his departure.

Director of Tourism and Leisure Ron Cussons said:

‘It is very humbling to have already received so many kind words from so many good people. I am looking forward to spending more time around the home and not worrying so much when the occasional storm cloud appears over Devonshire Park during the Tennis Championship, but those thoughts are still some way off as there is much to do. I have a great deal of work to complete including the planning and preparation for the Cultural Hub – it is a development that is close to my heart as I really believe the whole Eastbourne community will benefit when it opens.’
Author: Chris Gape
Further Info: chris.gape@eastbourne.gov.uk
05 January, 2004

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