Newhaven Fort to undergo £5.8 million restoration
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The £5.8 million restoration of the iconic Newhaven landmark will see new access to gun emplacements, refurbished exhibitions including home front, D-Day and barrack room, redevelopment of the adventure playground, a new visitor experience on the battery observation post and refurbishment of the Romney Hut.
The money is part of the Newhaven Town Deal fund and to meet government deadlines, the work on the fort will start from the end of 2023 and throughout 2024. This will mean the closure of the fort next year and an earlier than initially planned reopening in spring 2025.
Duncan Kerr, Chief Executive of Wave Leisure Trust, said: “This is a defining moment in the long history of Newhaven Fort and I couldn’t be more excited at the tantalising prospect of what this fantastic investment will create for future generations to enjoy.
"The preservation and maintenance of our historic buildings and monuments is a huge responsibility and I’m immensely proud to be playing a small part in that process. By closing the fort next year, our contractors can crack on with the construction work within a safe and secure environment and be completed ahead of schedule.”
As with any older building in such an exposed location, the year-on-year impact of the elements does take a heavy toll. Accordingly, the project will also see work to reduce water from penetrating the fort’s structure.
Councillor Johnny Denis, Cabinet Member for Arts, Culture and Tourism & Leisure, said: “Newhaven Fort has a special place in the hearts of so many people, so I am greatly looking forward to the completion of the works to allow residents and visitors the opportunity to visit, understand and enjoy this unique landmark for years to come.”
As the work progresses, the team at the fort will post images and video updates on newhavenfort.org.uk and share them on Twitter @NewhavenFort.
Duncan added: “During 2024 our staff will deliver outreach sessions, particularly to schools in Newhaven and organise ‘hard hat’ tours to see the work at the fort in progress. We are also developing a platform for greater digital engagement, where people can see the fort story and share in the excitement of what is to come.”