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Construction firm appointed for £7.5m restoration of Newhaven Fort

Newhaven Fort has announced Pilbeam Construction as the delivery partner for its £7.5 million restoration. The Fort is now closed to the public so that works can begin. As well as essential repairs and maintenance work to preserve the historic Sussex landmark, the restoration project will include new exhibitions, a redeveloped adventure playground and new access to gun emplacements.

The restoration will include a completely refurbished battery observation post which has never been open to the public before, providing a new visitor experience with stunning views of the coast. The Romney Hut will also be refurbished, providing a versatile all-year round event space for school activities, weddings, community events, corporate hire and more.

Restoration work at Newhaven Fort will take place throughout 2024, with the construction timeline set to be unveiled soon. The restored fort is due to reopen in early 2025.

Additional funding has been granted for the fort’s restoration by Lewes District Council as part of the capital funding programmes being delivered in Newhaven, including the Town Deal and Levelling Up funds.

Duncan Kerr, chief executive of Wave Active, which operates Newhaven Fort, said: “We’re excited for work to begin as we embark on this milestone project to restore and revamp Newhaven Fort. This is a huge programme of improvement works to carry out essential repairs and to create a vibrant heritage destination which Newhaven can be proud of.

“There will be lots of new visitor experiences to look forward to when we reopen early next year, and we can’t wait to reveal more of our plans. Watch this space for announcements.”

Simon Pilbeam, managing director of Pilbeam Construction, said: "We are honoured to have been awarded this prestigious contract for the restoration of Newhaven Fort. We understand the historical significance of this site and the responsibility that comes with preserving its heritage.

“Our team is dedicated to delivering a project that not only showcases the rich history of the fort but also provides a memorable experience for visitors."

Chris Ketley, chairman of the Re-imagining Newhaven Board (formerly Newhaven Town Deal Board), said: “Lewes District Council’s place on the national pathfinder scheme (among just ten local authorities in the country) and the consolidation of funding from different grants is a great boost for the restoration of Newhaven Fort.

“We’re delighted to help preserve this unique landmark for years to come and look forward to all the benefits the restored fort will bring to our town.”

Councillor Johnny Denis, Cabinet Member for Arts, Culture, Tourism and Leisure, said: "Newhaven Fort is a local and national treasure and I am delighted that work to restore and enhance this popular visitor attraction will be taking place so that more people can enjoy visiting it in the years to come.

 "Families will benefit from a new children’s play area, there will be new exhibitions, a refurbished event space and lots more, making Newhaven Fort an even better asset for local people while continuing to attract visitors to the area."

For more information about Newhaven Fort, please visit:


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