Bed and breakfast boost for Lewes economy

Lewes Town and Country Bed and Breakfast group celebrated the publication of its 14th annual brochure with a party at the Town Hall. It now features 50 B&Bs in Lewes and the surrounding villages.

Lewes MP Norman Baker wrote saying he was sorry not to be there as it was only the second launch party he had missed since it began. But the brochure, he said, had become “such a fixed publication in the town” that it is now the official guide rather than the alternative one.

“Lewes is a powerfully independent town,” he said, “and won’t simply do what the powers that be tell it to, whether it’s Bonfire or the campaign to keep Harveys at The Lewes Arms. You fit neatly into that picture and more power to your elbow.”

He thanked participants for the vital role they played for the local economy.

The Mayor of Lewes, Cllr Michael Chartier. spoke of the preparations in hand for celebrating the 750th anniversary and said he felt the B&B group would play an important role as ambassadors for the town.

John Anderson, who had produced the group’s brochure for 14 years, was retiring and was presented with a membership subscription for the Friends of the Royal Academy. Thanking everyone, he said he had made some calculations. “We provided about 12,750 bed nights last year and if you take an average £35 per person per night, that’s £446,250, nearly half a million pounds that we brought to the local economy.

“And because we finance the brochure and website ourselves, we don’t cost Lewes District Council [which runs the Tourist Information Centre] a penny.”