A bid to turn a 12th century priory into a top training facility to support the local hospitality industry will be unveiled at a public exhibition on November 11 and 12.
Langney Priory, which is probably the oldest building in Eastbourne, can be found in Etchingham Road and was built before 1121. It is a Grade II listed building but is one of Eastbourne’s best-kept secrets, with many residents in the town unaware of its existence.
Sussex-based company EU Eco-Hub CIC is putting together a Heritage Lottery Fund bid to restore the priory and turn it into a top class bed and breakfast facility with the consecrated chapel being used as a wedding venue and the long room above forming the perfect location for the reception.
The priory would provide local people with training and employment and help those in disadvantaged groups achieve new skills and opportunities. Archaeological and heritage research work would also involve the community, local schools and colleges.
Eco-Hub Director Charlie Turner said: “We are very excited to be on board with this project that would breathe life into one of Eastbourne’s oldest buildings for generations to come. The idea of the project is initially to provide hard to reach groups with the opportunity to learn construction and restoration skills and once completed to work in partnership with local educational establishments to give their students first hand experience of the hospitality industry.
The scheme is backed by the St Anthonys Ward Councillors where the Priory is located. In order to enable local people and visitors to have the chance to find out about future plans for the Priory and give feedback, they are funding a public exhibition out of their devolved ward budget. This will be held on Saturday November 11, 4.15pm to 6pm and Sunday November 12 from 2pm to 4pm at Langney Village Hall.
Local Councillor David Tutt said: “I hope that the local community will get behind this project and help to ensure that it is a success. During the exhibition we will be keen to hear from anyone willing to volunteer to join the project team.”
Published on November 8, 2017