Beacon Hub Brighton Charitable Incorporated Organisation Reg. No. 1159583
“The aim of Beacon Hub Brighton is to educate, inspire and enable all sections of the local and extended community to connect with the shoreline, the South Downs and the wider environment – BHB Trustees Mission Statement”
15 Year Lease Signed, Planning Permission Granted & Local ‘DIY SOS’ Launched!
Beacon Hub Brighton CIO was set up by a group of volunteers with a shared vision of creating a learning space in the old Rottingdean 18-Hole Pitch and Putt kiosk for residents and the wider community to learn about the local ecology and heritage sites. This community classroom will connect children and adults to the beautiful nature that surrounds the hub and provide much needed facilities for nature reserve. Since our last update many goals have been achieved. We have signed a 15 year lease with Brighton & Hove City Council and gained planning permission from the South Downs National Park Authority. We worked with a local surveyor’s firm David F. Smith Ltd. and local architect, Kinga Hoffman, on a re-design for the kiosk using best practice for sustainable construction.
The 1950s kiosk, although not listed, has been replicated in the new design to keep as much of the external appearance as possible the same, because of its context and proximity to the Rottingdean Windmill. We are very grateful to David F. Smith, Michael Chapman and Kinga Hoffman, who kindly donated their expertise to the project, and the Brighton & Hove Heritage Commissioner, Roger Amerena, who has also been a keen member of the design team to ensure that the Beacon Hub building is in keeping with the heritage of its surroundings. After a long consultation process the South Downs National Park Authority granted us planning permission on 18/Dec/15 and the architect’s drawings will be available to view on our website shortly.
An expertly managed design process has enabled us to optimise the kiosk area to create a full disabled access classroom for 35 people, a lobby for displays on the local flora & fauna and art exhibitions, a small office from which the hub will be run, a kitchen with external serving hatch, plus essentials like toilets and baby changing facilities that can be used both by visitors to the Beacon Hill Local Nature Reserve and users of the Beacon Hub. We would like to thank Occupational Therapist, Stacey Jackson, for her assistance with professional standards for disabled access.
The pitch and putt golf course will not be leased by BHB. It has now been placed under the Higher Land Stewardship system, and we hope it will eventually become part of the Beacon Hill Local Nature Reserve. The extension of the nature reserve down to the coast road was a key goal of the Beacon Hub Brighton project, and we have worked with the Beacon Hill Working Group and Friends of Beacon Hill to help conserve and increase the bio-diversity of our precious chalk grassland. We are very grateful to Joanne Spickett, a freelance land conservation specialist, for all the hard work she put in to the planning application, as she also kindly donated her time to the project, and will continue to support BHB as its Conservation Advisor.
Negotiating the 15 year ‘peppercorn rent’ lease with landlords, Brighton & Hove City Council, has taken some time, with BHB, Rottingdean Parish Council & Brighton & Hove City Council all working together to agree the terms. We must thank solicitors DMH Stallard who kindly donated their time to help us with this complicated process.
We will be using the existing kiosk and a neighbouring cut grass amenity area to fund raise from over the next 12 months. Repair work has begun at the kiosk and car park so we are launching our very own version of DIY SOS! We’re documenting the “transformation” of the building with photos, videos and blogs that will be on our website shortly. Local roofer, Daisy Day, of Loftus Design & Build), has already volunteered to fix the roof, local electrician Harry Lake Gouhari, of Future Tec has offered to check the electrics, and local carpenter Chris Pratt of CP Carpentry has offered his ‘good with wood’ skills. We still need a plumber & a decorator! Please email us if you are able to volunteer your services too.
We held our first AGM on 20/Oct/15 and introduced our new CIO Trustees. It was lovely to see it so well attended by locals and the overall support for the project. Along with people offering to help us with some great ideas for fundraising events were offers to muck in and start cleaning too!
We will launch our fundraising campaign on a larger scale through Heritage Lottery funding, Spacehive crowd funding site and a diary of local events. We will also seek out Founder Members from the local community to come on board at the start of this exciting community venture to help steer the merry ship Beacon Hub on its strategic educational course.
We have an experienced Education Officer, Samantha O’Leary, helping us develop our arts and nature conservation Education Programme for children and adults, an expert Business Advisor, Clive Bonny of Strategic Management Partners, a talented Arts Advisor, Nicky LaBrooy, and an Arts Advisory Board including Amanda Davidson, Hayley Cox, Sharon Mee, Nick Bowering and Raphael Berrio.
Deans Computers (www.deanscomputers.co.uk) have offered to help source ICT equipment for students to use whilst studying educational courses offered by the hub.
“If this new community facility was to attract just 10 new tourists per week during the peak season (May-Sept), each spending £200, this would bring an extra £40,000 p.a. to our local economy.”
Tracy Holland (Local trader Mad Wax Candles & BHB Trustee)
If you are interested in supporting Beacon Hub Brighton financially, as a sponsor, getting involved as a volunteer by donating your time, skills or resources, or indeed becoming a Founder Member of the project then please get in touch by emailing us at email@example.com
Strategic Management Partners (www.consult-smp.com)
David F. Smith Ltd. www.dfsmithsurveyors.com
DMH Stallard (www.dmhstallard.com)
Loftus Design & Build (www.loftusdesignandbuild.com )
CP Carpentry (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Future Tec (www.future-tec.co.uk)
Mrs Libby Darling, Ms. Atlanta Cook, Mr. Jay Butler, Mr. Graham Beaver, Mr. Bernard Turnbull, Ms. Tracy Holland & Ms. Samantha O’Leary