Seaside resorts’ fortunes have changed over the past half a century, and as a consequence many of the towns’ physical environments and inhabitants have altered. Many grew in population size through in-migration, particularly as a result of retirement, which took over from the holiday industry as a process that changed the socio-economic and cultural structures of these places. Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex is among those seaside towns that have undergone such changes, fuelled by exogenous forces but also influenced by key agencies actions that have been a catalyst for altering the physical environment which encouraged the in-migration of middle-life people and the retired. This thesis analyses the effect of these changes and the role key agencies have had. In particular, it argues the changing nature of retirement in-migration of ‘middle-lifers’ (aged 50-70), those approaching or entering retirement, has had a profound effect on the town. This thesis disputes conventional retirement migration theories identifying a new form of ‘lifestyle-affirming’ migration.
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