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July 13 2012.

Lewes District Council is considering options to secure the long term future of Newhaven Fort and ensure that it can support the wider regeneration of Newhaven.

Councillor Rob Blackman, Lead Member for Business, Economic Development and Tourism at Lewes District Council said: "I love the Fort. My children used to go there regularly when they were younger. Newhaven Fort is important to most people in our district and we know it has the potential to be a catalyst in the town's regeneration. But the Fort currently runs at an annual loss of approximately £200K, which cannot be justified.

"It does require large investment, possibly as much as £6 million, to fulfill its potential as a significant visitor attraction. We know from the feasibility study that there are interested parties out there. It is a great site and location and could host a fantastic variety and range of events, as well as providing enhanced educational facilities, be a location for a range of commercial activities and much more.

"At cabinet yesterday we agreed to retain ownership of the Fort and go out to the market to tender for a long-term lease arrangement. We are looking to lease the whole site as a long-term visitor attraction. All costs associated with the improvement works and site management would be the responsibility of the leaseholder and would generate a market rate".

Lewes District Council will now develop a specification and seek expressions of interest for a long lease - working with local partners to develop a Prospectus for the lease that can be marketed to potential investors.