Redoubt Unlocks Stories of Eastbourne with Heritage Lottery Fund Support
Eastbourne’s Redoubt Fortress has received initial support* from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the ‘Redoubt – Unlocking the Story of Eastbourne’ project, it was announced today.
The project aims to restore the 200 year old Fortress, improve access to the building and create an engaging new interpretive journey through the history of Eastbourne, and forming what will become, a heritage hub for the town.
Development funding of £64,000 has been awarded to help Eastbourne Borough Council’s Heritage Service progress their plans to apply for a full grant in October for a further £1.2 million towards the delivery phase of the project.
Eastbourne Borough Council Senior Head of Tourism & Enterprise, Philip Evans said “This project is a real game changer for Eastbourne’s heritage offer, really bringing together our wonderful and diverse collections. It will preserve one of our most treasured historic assets, will ensure its sustainability for years to come and create the museum that Eastbourne really deserves.”
To progress the project the Heritage Service will appoint a team of experts including an architect, business developer, historic and archaeological consultants and a Collections Assistant to work with existing staff. If successful, the bid will see works begin at the fortress a year later, at the season end in November 2016.
Creating a new entrance, lift access and opening up all of the remaining casemates for museum visitors, the works will also improve environmental conditions at the fortress for the preservation of exhibits and for the comfort of visitors.
Some of the 19th Century Casemates will be restored to their original form and visitors will be able to interact with new exhibits showing what life was like for the soldiers over 100 years ago.
The Redoubt’s nationally important collections will form a catalyst for transporting the visitor on a journey through time telling the stories of Eastbourne from evidence of prehistoric Elephants to the present day and beyond.
Better storage facilities and access will enable more research and study opportunities for everyone and help to enhance the educational and outreach services offered by the Heritage Service team.
The Redoubt is a popular visitor attraction in Eastbourne and is a venue for educational visits, lectures and curator led events.
In recent years the Heritage Service has developed ground-breaking exhibitions and community archaeology projects while continuing to explore Eastbourne’s history. Last year’s HLF funded Eastbourne Ancestors project made National headlines after identifying the sub-Saharan origins of Beachy Head Lady – a young lady who grew up in Eastbourne during the Roman period. This year sees the opening of the Summerdown Camp exhibition exploring life in a WW1 Convalescent Camp, which is free to visit and continues until 15 November 2015.
The Redoubt Fortress and Summerdown Camp exhibition are both now open for the 2015 season. For more information visit www.eastbournemuseums.co.uk .
14 April, 2015
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