Re-open castle tea rooms to boost tourism

TEA ROOMS at Pevensey Castle need to be re-opened to keep tourists in the village, according to the local politicians.

Pevensey MP Greg Barker met with English Heritage and parish councillors at the Pevensey Castle tea rooms recently.

The tea rooms were closed by English Heritage earlier this year and Pevensey Parish Council is keen to see them re-opened under new management.

The council also believes more can be done to promote Pevensey Castle, which brings tourism and business to an area which is home to an important part of English history.

Cllr John Grout, chairman of Pevensey Parish Council, said there were coach-loads of people arriving to visit Pevensey Castle and then leaving immediately because there are no other facilities in the village after the closure of the Mint House and the hotel, as well as the tea rooms.

Cllr Grout added, “We are disturbed about the closure of the tea rooms and the effect it is having on Pevensey village.

He also told the Herald the parish council was looking into the possibility of managing the building.

“The parish council has asked them [English Heritage] to send us details of its takings and running costs because we think we might be able to run it better,” said Cllr Grout.

“We would like to run it as a tourist business because at the moment we have coaches coming from the continent, they visit the castle and then they disappear because there is nothing to keep them in the village.”

Cllr Grout said local people had approached the parish council with ideas including re-opening the premises as a tearooms and art centre.

Pevensey MP Greg Barker said, “Pevensey Castle is a fabulous historical asset right on our doorstep, I was therefore very disappointed to hear of the concerns of the parish council.

“I am pleased to say that following a productive meeting with English Heritage the tea rooms will be put out to tender very soon with a view to re-opening them in early spring next year.

“The parish council will also be talking to English Heritage about organising more community based activities at the castle to draw more visitors to the area and are exploring the possibility of greater local involvement in the management of the castle.”

But Cllr Grout said, “The tea rooms have been closed for about a year now and we are asking English Heritage to get things moving earlier than the spring.”