Former St Anne’s School site in Lewes opening up for community use

COMMUNITY groups and organisations in Lewes will be able to use and enjoy the grounds of the former St Anne’s School site in Rotten Row after a lease agreement was finalised this week.

The community-led St Anne’s Steering Group and East Sussex County Council have agreed to let the grounds to the voluntary organisation 3VA for an initial one-year period.

3VA will be the accountable body and will provide advice, support and administrative help to the St Anne’s Steering Group. The Steering Group will oversee use of the grounds for events and community activity.

Simon Hughes, Assistant Chief Executive at East Sussex County Council, said: “This is great news for Lewes and keeps to the promises we made last year to make the grounds available for community use.

“Groups and organisations are free to apply to the Steering Group to make use of this green space. The grounds will be available all year round, understandably with some restrictions to ensure neighbours are considered.

“We’ve also agreed with Sussex Wildlife Trust for them to establish a butterfly bank in the grounds and work on this should start in the next month.”

The site can be used all year round between 10am and 6pm. During the summer months on Fridays and Saturdays only (May-August), the site can be used between 10am and 10pm (amplified music will not be allowed after 7pm).

The site area is more than four acres but excludes the old school buildings which are not part of the lease to 3VA. The Steering Group would welcome applications to use the grounds – please email stannes@3va.org.uk for an application pack and more information.

The St Anne’s Steering Group was formed in September last year.

It has been working to develop ideas and activities for the short-term use of the grounds (minimum of three years) and has held two open days to promote the site.