The historic White Hart Hotel has been put on the market with a price tag of two-and-a-half million pounds.
The iconic building, in High Street, Lewes, is up for sale with leisure property specialists Fleurets, and the move has provoked a mixed reaction among the town’s residents.
While some are sad to see such an historic hotel up for sale, others agree it is a good move that could lead to some much-need investment in the 17th-century building.
Lewes District Councillor and member of Save Lewes Architecture, Vic Ient, said: “The sale of this building sits alongside the many changes that are going on in Lewes at the moment. Whatever happens in other areas of the town, one would hope that this grade II listed building survives and is bought by an owner who will restore it to its former glory.
“Much needs to be done and let’s hope that it will be financially viable. The White Hart is perfectly located providing tourists and visitors with an historic setting for taking in the many attractions of Lewes and the South Downs National Park.
“There are many examples around the country of successful renovations of old hotels. Let’s hope that the same happens for the White Hart.
“If this Lewes hotel isn’t renovated the future looks more uncertain.”
Others took to social media to express their opinions on the listing. Natalie Canavan said: “So sad. Let’s hope somebody buys and invests some money into it. Also, that the jobs are kept for those working there.”
A user by the name of Mrs Grumpy wrote on Lewes forum: “The White Hart is an historic hotel in a prime position which for years has been allowed to deteriorate. The new owners should be prepared to respect its place in an historic town.”
User ‘Mr Sensible’ added: “It’s been an inn for nearly 300 years and is now no longer fit for purpose in the 21st century. It needs demolishing, leave the facade intact and rebuild. That wont happen, as it’s not financially viable. These old buildings need reinvestment.”
It is understood the annex, pool and leisure centre are not included in the sale.
Fleurets confirmed the hotel is looking for a sale or an equity investor and said it “has had a lot of interest” so far.
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