Eastbourne is a large town, seaside resort and borough in the non-metropolitan county of East Sussex on the south coast of England, 19 miles east of Brighton. Eastbourne is immediately to the east of Beachy Head, the highest chalk sea cliff in Great Britain. With a seafront consisting largely of Victorian hotels, a pier and a Napoleonic era fort and military museum, Eastbourne was developed by the Duke of Devonshire from 1859 from four separate hamlets. It has a growing population, a broad economic base and is home to companies in a wide range of industries.
Though Eastbourne is a relatively new town, there is evidence of human occupation in the area from the Stone Age. The town grew as a fashionable tourist resort largely thanks to prominent landowner, William Cavendish, later to become the Duke of Devonshire. Cavendish appointed architect Henry Currey to design a street plan for the town, but not before sending him to Europe to draw inspiration. The resulting mix of architecture is typically Victorian and remains a key feature of Eastbourne.
As a seaside resort, Eastbourne derives a large and increasing income from tourism, with revenue from traditional seaside attractions augmented by conferences, public events and cultural sightseeing. The other main industries in Eastbourne include trade and retail, healthcare, education, construction, manufacturing, professional scientific and the technical sector.
Eastbourne's population is growing; between 2001 and 2011 it increased from 89,800 to 99,412. The 2011 census shows that the average age of residents has decreased as the town has attracted students, families and those commuting to London and Brighton.
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