Funding boost for major Hastings redevelopment project

Two projects in 1066 Country look set to receive major funding boosts, after gaining the formal backing of East Sussex County Council.

Tuesday, 28th July 2020, 3:25 pm
Old Observer Building, Cambridge Road, Hastings

At a meeting on Tuesday (July 28), leader Keith Glazier signed off on plans to provide £3.5m in loan funding to two projects – Rother District Council’s Barnhorn Green Commercial and Healthcare Development in Bexhill and the redevelopment of the Old Observer Building in Hastings.

If also agreed by the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP), the projects would each receive a £1.75m low interest loan from the Growing Places Fund to fund the first phases of their development.

The funding for the Observer building redevelopment project would see much of the existing building renovated, creating commercial space for up to six new enterprises and as many as 18 to 20 new jobs once complete.

A second phase of development would see a similar amount of commercial space created as well as a ‘residential shell’ on the 2nd and 3rd floor of the building.

The completed building would be a mixed-use development, including studio space, offices and open space as well as 16 capped-rent flats and a public roof terrace and bar.

The project is being run by White Rock Neighbourhood Ventures (WRNV) – which has owned the building in Cambridge Road for little over a year.

The Barnhorn Green development, meanwhile, would see Rother District Council build a doctors’ surgery as well as office and light industrial space alongside  housing development in west Bexhill.

While the full project already has outline planning permission, the Growing Places funding would only be for the first phase of development.

This would see the construction of the medical centre and light industrial space, while the office building would come as part of a second phase.

Launched in 2011 the Growing Places Fund (GPF) is described as a ‘recyclable loan scheme’ intended to support the building of infrastructure projects. The low interest loans are brought back into the fund and lent out to other projects.

To date, a total of £54.4m has been invested in 21 projects across the South East, including the construction of both the North Queensway Innovation Park and the Glovers House building in the Bexhill Enterprise Park.

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