Plan for castle could be just the ticket

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A PLAN to spruce up and improve the run down Hastings Castle site has been given the green light.

Members of the Cabinet committee met on Monday to discuss the project which is geared towards the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings.

A council ‘scrutiny’ panel met to discuss the best way forward to manage, enhance and market the castle.

They considered setting up a joint ticketing offer for the Castle, alongside West Hill lift, Smugglers Adventure and the Blue Reef Aquarium. The committee agreed to trial it this summer to encourage more people the West Hill lift and visit the castle.

In a report to the committee, the panel considered a lottery funding bid but decided against the idea as it was too close to the recent Hastings Pier award.

The castle is owned by the council but since 2009 has been run by Spanish operators Aspro.

Panel members said they were convinced of the need to improve facilities at the castle which fell “far below” what is expected by visitors to major attractions. A bid for Heritage Lottery funding in 2011 was unsuccessful.

The panel identified October 2016 as the ideal date for reopening an improved castle to coincide with the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings. The committee agreed to review the 2013 season and the success of the group ticket in October.

Councillor Peter Finch said: “Perhaps we could get them to incorporate the ticket with any bus link along the front.”