THE PEVENSEY Castle tea rooms are still sitting empty and are a ‘wasted tourist attraction’, say councillors.
The village’s parish and district councillors are calling on English Heritage, which manages the castle and its grounds, to get the tea rooms back up and running as quickly as possible after many months of closure.
Cllr John Grout, chairman of Pevensey parish council, said he was very frustrated by the situation.
He said, “We had a meeting with English Heritage last year about the tea rooms and it seemed very promising. However, it is still sitting empty now and we are many months on.”
Cllr Grout said the business had been put out to tender and he knew there were a number of local people who came forward with business propositions for the site.
It is understood the majority wanted to run the site as a tea room but there was also a suggestion it could be run as a cafe and art gallery.
Cllr Grout also said the parish council would like to be able to organise events inside the castle grounds – such as the ones planned for the Diamond Jubilee.
Cllr Grout said, “We are pleased about the Diamond Jubilee celebration in the castle, which has been organised with English Heritage. We would like to do that sort of thing more often.
“Pevensey Castle and the tea rooms are a perfectly good asset to the village, and the whole of the UK, but are not being used in the best way. The tea rooms in particular should not be standing idle.”
Cllr Bill Tooley, a Wealden District Councillor for the Pevensey area, echoed the sentiments of Cllr Grout and said he felt the tourist attraction was being wasted.
He said, “This really is a terrible waste of a business opportunity – situated next to one of the most iconic tourist attractions in the county. Coaches bring tourists from all over the world to visit Pevensey Castle and I just wonder what they must think of us when they see that the tea room is closed and boarded up.”