Major facelift for heritage centre to increase appeal

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THE HERITAGE Centre in Carlisle Road is undergoing a major facelift, aimed at increasing its appeal to residents and visitors.

The Centre is run by the Eastbourne Society and celebrates the town’s Victorian and Edwardian heritage.

The refurbishment comes as the Society has reached agreement with the Borough Council for a new 25-year lease on the building, which was originally the home of the manager of the adjoining Devonshire Baths, demolished many years ago.

The facelift is also taking place as the society celebrates its 50th anniversary as a watchdog and advocate of the town’s architectural and cultural traditions.

The ground floor of the Centre is being given a new layout, with a partition separating the shop area from the display which will focus on the birth of Eastbourne and the arrival of the railway.

The first floor will house the main display of heritage items and will include many fresh ideas and themes.

A new computer acquired by the Society in recent months is to be employed in due course as part of the experience.

The lower ground floor is being transformed into an audio-visual room and will be decorated in distinctive Victorian style. This room will also be used for meetings and talks.

Brewers have kindly donated materials to give the rooms their new look.

A programme of exhibitions is being drawn up for the year with the aim of constantly refreshing interest in the Centre.

These begin with the Victorian Society’s 50th anniversary exhibition, ‘Saving a Century’, and will be followed by a photographic exhibition. Also planned is ‘Crime and Punishment: 250 of the Magistracy in Eastbourne’, recognising a landmark in the local court system.

The Centre will re-open on May 14 and will welcome visitors until late October.