Operators needed to restore Hastings' West Hill Cafe

The West Hill Cafe could be restored to its former glory in the near future.
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Hastings Borough Council said it is calling for experienced developers and operators to put forward ideas and proposals to restore the cafe to its full potential.

The cafe, on the green next to the West Hill Lift, remained closed all through the summer.

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The building is owned by the council, which leased it out to be used as a cafe. But the council was involved in a long-running legal tussle with the lease-holder.

The West Hill CafeThe West Hill Cafe
The West Hill Cafe

The authority said its aim is to find a partner who will work with the council to develop, build, operate and maintain the new building as a cafe, restaurant and an interpretation centre for telling the story of Hastings Castle.

Cllr Andy Batsford, the council’s lead councillor for health and culture, said: “This is a unique opportunity to lead the way in the transformation of the flagship project for the Hastings Town Investment Plan. I look forward to seeing plans to transform the West Hill Café site, incorporating an interpretation centre, which will significantly boost tourism and enhance the visitor experience overall. Ensuring the castle site is a must-see destination for everyone and restoring the café to its full potential is very important for our town.”

In 2021, Hastings was one of 101 towns in the UK to receive a share of the Government’s Towns Fund to kickstart the regeneration of the town with funding of £24.3m.

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Earlier this year the Town Deal Board approved the project’s business case. The council said it has allocated £3m of Town Deal money to invest in the project to improve the café as an interpretation facility with food and beverage provision and access to Hastings Castle with modest improvements within the castle itself.

The council added it is now looking for experienced partners to help deliver the project.

Submissions will be open until December 8.

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