Restored barn at Ditchling Museum boosts economy

Robert Cheesman with winners of SDS Special Commendations at Sussex Heritage Lunch, Pangdean.
Robert Cheesman with winners of SDS Special Commendations at Sussex Heritage Lunch, Pangdean.

Significant contributions to the local environment were recognised at a ceremony over the weekend.

The Sussex Heritage Trust annual awards scheme was again supported by the South Downs Society.

Ditchling Museum

Ditchling Museum

Society Chairman Robert Cheesman presented Special Commendations to two of the shortlisted schemes, located within the South Downs National Park, “which made the greatest contribution to conserving and enhancing the park’s special qualities”.

The awards are designed to recognise and reward high quality conservation and restoration as well as good design in new-build projects encouraging the use of traditional skills and crafts.

Rob Roscoe and David Browne, trustees of Ditchling Museum of Arts and Crafts, accepted a Commendation for an ambitious refurbishment and new design of the existing museum involving the restoration of a derelict Listed barn as the new entrance and the construction of two new buildings.

The new design made a significant contribution to understanding the National Park’s special qualities and Mr Cheesman said: “The Society recognised the quality of the ambitious refurbishment and new design in a building that makes a significant contribution to the second statutory purpose of national park designation – the promotion of understanding and enjoyment of the park’s special qualities, including its cultural heritage.”

The Tithe Barn at Sullington Manor Farm was the second recipient for a project that meant a sensitive restoration enabled reuse as an outlet contributing to the economy of the local community.

The aim of the project was firstly to physically preserve the historic building and now it will continue to have a useful, productive and economically sustainable life.

Graham and Gail Kittle accepted the Commendation, of which Mr Cheesman said: “The Society welcomed the great commitment and sensitivity applied to the restoration of the barn and its successful reuse as a commercial outlet, contributing to the economic well-being of the national park community.’