Council hands keys over for St Mary-in-the-Castle
AN AMBITIOUS plan to transform the landmark St Mary-in-the-Castle complex took a step closer after the council handed over the keys to the
new managing director.
Council leader Jeremy Birch handed the keys for the Grade II listed building over to Zoe Ashdown on Wednesday.
Last month the council granted a temporary tenancy licence to Buckswood School so it could set about marketing the premises and using the facilities.
The first event was planned for next Saturday(March 23) with the launch of an album by local artist Otti Albietz.
Buckswood has major plans for the premises.
A temporary cafe in the crypt will open in the next few weeks and the lantern light over the main cafe area is being restored.
The Guestling-based school wants to transform the premises into a cultural destination for the south east and applied for charitable status.
The application was submitted in November but is taking longer than expected for approval from the Charity Commission.
Funded and supported by Buckswood the trust will be made up of 11 trustees each with their own portfolio including arts and culture, education and youth, business development and communities.
The aim is for the premises to be used by the whole community with the focus on six key areas: the venue, youth and education, performing arts, bringing community groups together, external investment and the cafe and exhibition space.
Council leader Jeremy Birch said: “This is the start of a very bright, new future for St Mary-in-the-Castle.
“The plans that Buckswood has for the venue will certainly add to what the town has to offer as we make our bid for the City of Culture.
“It gives me great pleasure to hand over the jewel in our crown and I look forward to seeing a full programme of events.”
Giles Sutton, headmaster of Buckswood School, said: “We have high ambitions for St Mary-in-the-Castle and look forward to getting the doors open and welcoming everyone in.
“A temporary cafe in the crypt will be open in the next couple of weeks, while the lantern light is being restored over the main cafe area.
“So pop in for a coffee and slice of cake and see life being breathed back into St Mary-in-the-Castle for yourself.”
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Weather for Hastings
Thursday 23 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 18 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 5 C to 11 C
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Wind direction: West