Newhaven Fort, an iconic landmark in Newhaven, is about to undergo a massive £5.8 million restoration project starting at the end of the current summer season. The restoration plans aim to improve the fort’s facilities and preserve its historical significance for future generations to enjoy.
The funding for the restoration project comes from the Newhaven Town Deal fund, and the work is scheduled to commence by the end of 2023, continuing throughout 2024. To meet government deadlines and ensure the successful completion of the restoration, the fort will be temporarily closed in 2024, with an earlier reopening planned for spring 2025.
Exciting improvements are planned for Newhaven Fort, including enhanced access to gun emplacements, refurbished exhibitions focusing on the home front, D-Day, and barrack rooms, redevelopment of the adventure playground, a new visitor experience at the battery observation post, and the refurbishment of the Romney Hut.
Duncan Kerr, Chief Executive of Wave Leisure Trust, expressed his enthusiasm for the project, calling it a defining moment in the fort’s history. He emphasized the importance of preserving historic buildings and monuments and expressed pride in contributing to the process. Closing the fort in 2024 will allow contractors to work efficiently and complete the construction within a secure environment, potentially finishing ahead of schedule.
In addition to the visible improvements, the restoration project will address the fort’s structural issues caused by exposure to the elements. Measures will be taken to reduce water penetration, including repointing brickwork, window repairs, and a comprehensive renovation of visitor toilets. Electrical systems and power supplies will also undergo refurbishment.
Councillor Johnny Denis, Cabinet Member for Arts, Culture, Tourism & Leisure, acknowledged the special place Newhaven Fort holds in the hearts of many people. He expressed excitement about the project’s completion, emphasizing the opportunity it will provide for residents and visitors to experience and appreciate this unique landmark for years to come.