New lease of life for former newspaper offices

The former Gazette and Herald offices in Pevensey Road
The former Gazette and Herald offices in Pevensey Road

The old Gazette and Herald offices in Eastbourne town centre are to be converted in to more flats, if town planners give the proposals the green light.

The newspaper moved out of 4 Pevensey Road in the mid 1980s and in the years that followed, part of the building was converted in to flats called Herald Court and the ground floor was used as a restaurant, wine bar, dry cleaners and taxi office.

Now developers want to change the use of the empty wine bar and vacant taxi office to residential accommodation and put one two bed, two one bed and studio apartments on the ground floor and basement.

They say the retention of the existing building “envelope” and the change of use would provide the benefit of a new, “commercially viable application with minimal impact on the existing street scene”.

A spokesperson said, “The proposals would sit comfortably within the character of the area while providing accommodation to the site.”

The application has not been welcomed by the Luminar Leisure Limited, the operator of the Cameo Club in Langney Road which says it can foresee problems with residential accommodation being so close to the nightclub.

The Pevensey Road building served as the offices of the Gazette and Herald from the late 1800s after Thomas Beckett established the business in 1873, shortly after buying the Gazette.

The premises were expanded over the years with advertisement, editorial and print staff based there. The printing press was also in the building which backed on to Langney Road.

It remained the company’s hub until the late 1970s. In 1968 Becketts acquired a well-established print company called Strange the Printers, which occupied 1 Commercial Road.

The print firm was later sold on, and the decision was made to move the newspaper business to the site – together with a new Goss web offset press. This replaced the letterpress which had been installed at Pevensey Road in 1909 and which had printed the town’s newspapers for nearly 70 years.

Gazette and Herald staff remained at Commercial Road until August 2010 when editorial moved to Berkeley House in Gildredge Road.