Plans to lease Newhaven Fort are approved

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HISTORIC Newhaven Fort will be put out to tender on a long-term lease after Lewes District Council cabinet gave the plan the green light.

The fate of the Victorian fort, a scheduled ancient monument, was discussed this afternoon on Thursday (July 12) at Lewes House.

Councillors voted to allow a third party to provide a mixed use facility.

The fort will be leased long term as a visitor attraction and the council will also look at retaining part of the fort as a potential museum under district council management.

The council will now seek expressions of interest.

Newhaven Fort runs at an annual loss of £200,000 and needs about £6m spent on it to fulfil its potential as a ‘significant visitor attraction’.

Rare and Malcolm Reading Consultants were commissioned in October last year to test the market and deliver a range of options.

They concluded the fort was an ‘under-utilised asset that had the potential to host a wider range of events and activities and have a wider range of commercial and educational functions’.