Restoration of Pelham Arcade forges ahead

A 19th century arcade of subterranean shops is well on the way to being restored to its former glory.

Pelham Arcade, which is Grade II* listed, was once an eyesore but over recent years has undergone restoration work.

Pelham Arcade. SUS-141023-131728001

Pelham Arcade. SUS-141023-131728001

Representatives from English Heritage and the borough council visited the area last Thursday (October 23) to view the progress.

English Heritage published its annual Heritage at Risk Register for the south east last week, which highlights those historic gems at risk of decay or neglect. Pelham Arcade is currently listed on the register.

Over the past four years English Heritage has been working with the borough council to repair the large roof lantern covering the internal walkway to stop major leaks and new timber shop fronts in a traditional style are being fitted making the shops more in keeping with their original appearance. Pelham Arcade was upgraded from Grade II to Grade II* in 2011 in recognition of its importance of being a rare survival of a semi-underground arcade.

Dr Andy Brown, planning and conservation director for English Heritage in the south east, said: “We’ve seen great progress this year at important sites like Pelham Arcade, but there’s still a lot for us and our partners to do in order to preserve the historic buildings and places in the south east for future generations. Restoring the historic character and appearance of this special shopping arcade which was created just after the prestigious Burlington Arcade in London, has been a priority for us.”

Councillor Peter Chowney, deputy leader of Hastings Borough Council and lead member for regeneration, said: “We are very pleased indeed with the progress that has been made so far with Pelham Arcade. The whole of Pelham Crescent is a real gem, and it is fantastic to see the arcade starting to be brought up to the standard of the crescent above.

“We are committed to restoring the rest of the arcade to the same high standard.”