Press Releases week beginning 16 March 2020
Tourism suffering badly in 1066 Country because of Covid-19
Tourism businesses across 1066 Country are already being very badly affected by Covid-19 and the implications it is having on travel.
Kevin Boorman, manager of 1066 Country Marketing, the private/public sector partnership responsible for marketing the area, explained :- "1066 Country has been feeling the impact of Covid-19 for some weeks now, initially as our language school business slowed down, then stopped altogether, as other European countries banned their students from travelling here. That in itself was having a huge impact on some of our attractions, and the many host families who take students into their own homes every year.
"Following our government advice earlier this week to avoid mass gatherings and unnecessary travel, many of our most popular attractions have announced that they are closing until further notice, as have most of our large entertainment venues. Some of our biggest events have also already been cancelled, including Jack in the Green. And our accommodation sector is also being affected now, with widespread cancellations reported.
"I am also aware of the human impact of Covid-19, with severe sickness and, sadly, worse in some cases, and many, many people now having to self-isolate.
"Tourism supports over 15 000 jobs across 1066 Country, and contributes over £660m to the local economy, so plays a vital role in the economic well-being of this area. We can ill afford to lose these jobs, and I know that a number of tourism businesses are already having to lay off staff, or not recruit their seasonal workers as they would normally be doing this time of the year. And the start of the season is vital for cash flow too, so my colleagues and I are only too aware of the terrible impact Covid-19 is already having.
"Against a backdrop of attractions and venue closures, and government advice to avoid crowds and unnecessary travel, it really is very difficult times for tourism here. This includes the small coffee bars, cafes, restaurants, boutique shops hotels, guest houses and B&Bs that are so popular with visitors. Many of their owners have worked hard to build their businesses up over the years, and we know just how devastating it is for them to see their trade collapse.
"It is great that some businesses have already taken the initiative and think 'outside the box', like traditional restaurants now offering a take away service, or 'buy now eat later' vouchers. And some accommodation providers adopting active Covid-19 prevention measures and publishing statements on their websites to reassure potential guests.
"We will continue to share official advice from national tourism bodies in an ever-evolving situation and we are committed to supporting our partners as much as we can. We are already working on a PR campaign to attract visitors back here as soon as we are able to.
"We are also asking visitors to be sympathetic towards venues/attractions/accommodation where tickets have been sold for postponed events/room bookings and accept alternatives, rather than a refund.
Wheel replacement at West Hill funicular railway, Hastings
You are invited to send a reporter/crew to watch this, and film from outside (as per the attached - it will not be possible for safety reasons to have any media inside the lift). A spokesperson will be available.
The West Hill lift, a funicular railway in the Old Town that opened in 1891 and connects George Street with the West Hill, has been closed since July 2019 because of problems with its main drive wheel. This was removed last September (pic attached) and has been extensively repaired and renovated at a foundry in Rotherham.
The wheel was scheduled to be returned to the top station, on Hastings West Hill, on 10th February. Unfortunately, that was the day after Storm Ciara, and wind speeds were still far too high for the crane to lift the wheel back in place. Wind speeds have been high for several weeks, but the forecast is now looking better.
We are now hoping that our contractor will be able to lift the drive wheel back into place at 0800 this Thursday 19 March.
Extensive testing will be required before the lift opens again to the public, which is expected to be before Easter, but the return of the main drive wheel represents an important step towards the reopening of this much-loved example of Victorian engineering.
Hastings Museum & Art Gallery announces exciting summer exhibitions and events
Hastings Museum & Art Gallery today announced their summer and events programme for 2020.
Kim Forward, lead councillor for culture said,
"Hastings Museum has put together an exciting and fun programme for everyone to enjoy. Hastings Open 2020 is the museum's first open call exhibition and features both local and international artists. The open call earlier this year saw over 1500 artworks submitted for consideration, and this exhibition brings together a vibrant selection of contemporary art. Chosen by a guest panel of practising artists and gallery owners it highlights the truly remarkable contemporary art scene locally with some special pieces from around the world. Hastings Open runs from Saturday, 2 May until Sunday, 5 July.
"Ingenious Contraptions brings together amazing automata from Cabaret Mechanical Theatre's collection and marvellous contraptions from the museum's store. This exhibition is entertaining and fun, engaging and compelling for all children, families, makers and art enthusiasts. This exhibition has been made possible by the generous support of Anthony Horowitz and Sarah Alexander. Ingenious Contraptions runs from Saturday, 18 July until Sunday, 1 November.
"There will also be a smaller exhibition on in the Walkway marking the end of the Second World War and centenary of the Brassey collection being gifted to Hastings.
"With well over 100 individual events the programme is bigger than ever. There is a range of new regular and one-off events. These include monthly Museum Minis group for babies and toddlers and our very first Tots Takeover Day on Saturday, 16 May. For adults, there is a brand-new series of curated free history talks. These cover topics from Ancient Egyptian Art through to the story of Rock-a-Nore, as well as an adult's LEGO Late and a very special Tango night.
"Returning favourites include LEGO Labs during school holidays along with more Relaxed Openings and family workshops with Mind the Art."
For more information on what is on at the museum go to http://www.hmag.org.uk/, and Facebook: or contact the museum on 01424 451052 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.