Council welcome bids to run two new Eastbourne beach huts for commercial use

Star Gazer's Cabin cafe mode, picture courtesy of George King Architect SUS-160607-125917001

Star Gazer's Cabin cafe mode, picture courtesy of George King Architect SUS-160607-125917001

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Two of Eastbourne’s brand new iconic beach huts could soon be open for business as Eastbourne Borough Council welcome bids for their future commercial use.

Five contemporary bespoke beach huts were given the go-ahead earlier this year after an international architectural design competition, with their build due to begin at various seafront locations this September.

Eastbourne Re-Bourne, picture courtesy of Calderpeel Architect SUS-160607-130216001

Eastbourne Re-Bourne, picture courtesy of Calderpeel Architect SUS-160607-130216001

With two of the huts identified for commercial use, the Council have announced that Expressions of Interest are now welcome from keen operators who wish to trade from the iconic new cultural landmarks.

Eastbourne Borough Council Lead Cabinet Member for Culture, Tourism and Enterprise, Cllr Margaret Bannister said, “This is an amazing opportunity for a thoughtful and relevant commercial operator to provide something different on the seafront, amid the surroundings of a visually stunning and creative new landmark.

“These beach huts will provide a new cultural direction for the seafront and this is a great opportunity to help shape a fresh, high quality commercial offer for both residents and visitors.”

The first, the Star Gazers’ Cabin, will be located by Buzz Active watersports centre and will offer a five-year lease café operation.

The stunning astronomical construction, designed by George King Architects, displays thousands of laser cut stars, creating a beacon of illuminated constellations when lit at night.

Operators can bid to provide a light lunch and homemade cake style menu using locally sourced produce, complete with outdoor seating (subject to planning permission) and a non-fast food takeaway offer.

The second, the ‘Eastbourne Re-Bourne’ recycled beach hut designed by RIBA award winning architects Calderpeel, celebrates Eastbourne’s regeneration using recycled plastic bottles within its construction, and will be sited next to the eastern side of the Pier.

With a variety of food and drink outlets already on offer in this area, this hut will provide an alternative non-food commercial use.

The five new beach huts are the result of an ambitious design competition run by the Driving Devonshire Forward project and funded by the Coastal Communities Fund.

Sited on part of the Coastal Culture Trail which links Eastbourne’s Towner gallery with galleries in Bexhill and Hastings, the project aims to create new visitor attractions and enhance Eastbourne’s reputation as a town embracing culture and design.

Of the three remaining beach huts, one will be available for community use and two will be available for rent by beach users.

Expressions of interest are now open and must be submitted by August 15 with contracts awarded to successful bidders towards the end of September.

For more information or to submit an expression of interest, visit www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk and search ‘Iconic Beach Hut’.

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