The large seaside village, which sits between Worthing and Shoreham-on-Sea, has suddenly shot to fame with its idea to change its name, making it into not only local newspapers but the Daily Telegraph, Times, Guardian and Daily Mail.
According to the parish council-led Lancing Vision Group, the addition of ‘on-Sea’ to its existing name would add a more ‘seasidy’ image to the village, and it has designed banners to attach to lampposts with the new name on it and the phrase ‘Be at the centre’.
Despite some ridicule claiming the village was trying to make itself sound ‘posh’, the council claims it was in fact once known as ‘Lancing-on-Sea’.
But possibly the most surprising of all its press coverage so far has been its appearance on the comedy quiz show Have I Got News For You, hosted on 17th May by the comedian Rhod Gilbert, when it was one of the four contenders for the ‘Odd One Out’ round.
And indeed it was the odd one out – for being lengthened (the name) where the other candidates had been cut short for one reason or another.
Before the fuss had even died down just five days after the village’s appearance on Ian Hislop and Paul Merton’s almost 30-year-long-running show, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and entourage stopped off for lunch on the beach during a campaign tour in the area. The news made it into several news media.
The parish council has been working on ways to regenerate the village – which is one of the largest in Britain, with a population of 18,000 – since 2017.
“One idea was to make the village centre feel more ‘seasidy’ and have bunting hanging across roads but general issues preventing this proved to complicated to overcome so the alternative suggestion of having lamppost banners to act as additional signage from the A259, South Street and Grinstead Lane to attract visitors into the centre has been explored,” said a parish council statement.
“This council is dedicated to listening to and acting on the community’s wishes,” said Gloria Eveleigh, councillor and vice-chair of the parish council.