Press Releases week beginning 13 March 2017
New Lease Of Life For Castle?
Hastings Borough Council is looking for expressions of interest for an operator to develop and manage Hastings Castle.
Cllr Kim Forward, deputy leader of Hastings Borough Council, and lead member for tourism explained :- "Hastings Castle is one of the only direct links we have with the Norman invasion. It was the first Norman castle to be built in England, and is featured on the Bayeux Tapestry.
"But it does need more investment to provide an even better visitor experience there. Unfortunately our Heritage Lottery Fund bids to improve the castle weren't successful, and we don't have the resources ourselves to invest in it.
"So we are inviting expressions of interest from prospective operators a longer lease on the castle, the terms of which would include significant investment to improve access to the castle, and the visitor experience there. We are working with experts 'GVA' who will help us manage the process, and make the castle the 'must see' visitor attraction it deserves to be."
On Track :- Council Leader Welcomes Rail Consultation
The leader of Hastings Borough Council, Cllr Peter Chowney, has welcomed the publication of the Department for Transport's south eastern rail franchise public consultation document today (Tuesday 14th March).
Cllr Chowney said :- "This publication, 'Shaping the Future', is vitally important for us, as it gives us the opportunity to comment on our train services going into the future when the rail franchise is re-let.
"It recognises that one of the challenges is to reduce long journey times, and actually uses Hastings as an example, saying 'We want to speed up longer-distance journeys which have a very long journey time relative to the length of the route, for instance between London and Hastings.'
"It goes on to say that 'One option is to operate High Speed services between St. Pancras and Hastings, Bexhill and Rye via Ashford International', which I think is incredibly significant'.
"We have been developing a case for bringing high speed rail here for some time, and I am really pleased that this has been specifically acknowledged in this consultation document.
"I would urge everyone who wants high speed services here to comment on it."
The Department for Transport is holding a public consultation event on the south eastern rail franchise in Muriel Matters House in Hastings, on Saturday 8th April, from 1100 until 1400. Entry is via the Tourist Information Centre in Breeds Place, on the seafront.
The full consultation document is available on line at https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/599062/south-eastern-franchise-consultation.pdf
STEAM workshops for primary schools in Hastings
Funded by Hastings Borough Council, Jerwood Gallery has been working with five local primary schools on a series of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Maths) workshops.
Linked with the marine environment, fishing fleet and recycling, this series of workshops was designed to inspire, motivate, build confidence, develop skills and enable young people to achieve their full potential, and become active and responsible adults.
The project enabled children to experience working with a variety of local artist educators, such as Leigh Dyer and Peter Quinnell. The children went out on the beach, learnt to tie fishing knots, were introduced to metal working techniques, did rusting experiments and made life-size sculptures, which will be shown at a celebration event and final exhibition on Wednesday 15 March at Jerwood Gallery.
"This has been an excellent project for children in Hastings. Children from five local primary schools; Castledown, Christ Church, Ark Little Ridge Primary Academy, Ark Blacklands Primary Academy and Rye Community Primary have taken part," said Cllr Dawn Poole, the council's lead member for regeneration and culture.
She added: "The three workshops gave children the opportunity to work on several projects alongside the artists. They learned about how materials are used, where they come from, whether they are recyclable or not and if they are hazardous to the environment. Our thanks must go to all that have helped with these workshops, especially the local fishermen - Paul, Mark and Bud."
Kate Giles, marketing and communications manager at Jerwood Gallery, said: "These sessions had such a lovely, vibrant atmosphere, with real enthusiasm from the children involved, and from the adults too. It was wonderful to connect with the fishing community, who are our neighbours, and with such talented and prominent local artists. We hope to be able to offer more of this sort of session in the future."
Tina Kearney, one of the teachers involved, said: "The children were sharing ideas, respecting each other's ideas, helping each other, interacting with children from other schools, solving problems and gaining practical experience. They also got out onto the beach, which some children don't get the chance to do. They were absolutely buzzing when they got back to school."