BBQ, licensed bar, storytelling, films, talks & live acoustic set by Garrett from their new albumn Perhaps Forever. Join us on Beacon Hill this Saturday (24th June) 10am-6pm to celebrate the first year of ‘the hub’ in the South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 (email@example.com)
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
It is with great pleasure that we invite you to Beacon Hub Brighton’s first AGM to be held from 8pm – 9:30pm on Tuesday 20th October 2015 in Rottingdean Whiteway Centre’s main hall. Please join us for a short presentation on the project plus updates on our progress thus far and our next steps. Tea & Coffee will be served after a Q&A session to give everyone a chance to meet the whole team.
If you are able to join us please be so kind as to respond to firstname.lastname@example.org so we have an idea of numbers to cater for.
Just over a year ago, a group of volunteers stemming from Friends of Beacon Hill met with the shared vision of acquiring the redundant pitch & putt golf course at Rottingdean as an annexe to the existing Local Nature Reserve, and to re-develop the kiosk building to create a learning space relating to local ecology and heritage for the enjoyment of Brighton & Hove residents and visitors of all ages.
Situated just 3 miles to the east of Brighton city centre, between Rottingdean & Ovingdean and within the boundary of the South Downs National Park, the land is owned by Brighton & Hove City Council. Initially, the council had sought a commercial tenant for the land and proposals were put forward for leisure activities including setting up an off-road course for Segway machines. Thankfully, and largely due to concerted objections from local people, none of these schemes were considered appropriate and the Beacon Hub group were invited to present a sustainable business proposal.
Support was sought for the project, with encouraging messages forwarded by numerous influential institutions including Rottingdean Parish Council, local schools and individuals including BBC Wildlife broadcaster, Chris Packham who states: “Brighton is one of the liveliest, most interesting & cosmopolitan cities in Europe and it is perched on the edge of one of the most important pieces of habitat that we have anywhere in Europe too. The downs are a great repository of unique life, a beautiful landscape and a treasure trove of history and culture. Developing an educational focus point for Brighton¹s populace to better enable them to engage with this fabulous and valuable part of the world is quite simply a fantastic and irresistible idea. Please support it!”
It was decided that the group should pursue their aims as a Chartable Incorporated Organisation under the title of Beacon Hub Brighton and after much research, a 62 page proposal was presented to the City Council last July, requesting that Beacon Hub Brighton CIO (recently recognised by the Charities Commission) be granted a 15 year lease, that the land should become part of the nature reserve allowing space for public amenity, and that permission be granted to re-develop the existing building. Significantly, Brighton and Lewes downs were recently awarded UNESCO Biosphere status and the project’s educational, community led ethos is in many ways complimentary to this.
In August 2014, the council’s Environment, Transport & Sustainability Committee met in Hove where a delegation of the group’s trustees learned the exciting news that the committee had decided to award them the lease and were fully supportive. Since then, things have moved forward with David F Smith Surveyors and local architect Kinga Hoffman donating their work on layouts to optimise available space on the existing kiosk footprint, in order to create a classroom able to accommodate 30 children, as well as providing a lobby area with contextual displays, a small office, kitchen with external serving hatch and appropriate conveniences. Although the existing building is not listed, it was decided in consultation with the Brighton & Hove Heritage Commission that as much of the original external appearance of the building should be retained because of its context and proximity to the Rottingdean smock windmill.
Once the building plans are finalised, planning permission will be sought and quantity surveying will inform a target for fundraising through the Heritage Lottery Fund and internet crowd funding. Funding was given a head-start with a generous pledge of £25,000 from a local resident and should efforts to raise the required amount be successful and timely, that building work should begin in the autumn of 2015. Most recently, negotiations have begun with Brighton & Hove City Council regarding terms of the lease for the building and land management of the golf course area. Law Firm DMH Stallard kindly offered legal advice for this purpose. Fundraising is also proceeding with the Rottingdean Miniature Air Show to take place at Longhill School on March 14th, with all proceeds being donated to the project. Other fund raising events are also planned for the coming year – details will be publicised once confirmed.
In the meantime, the Beacon Hub Brighton volunteers hope to garner as much financial and practical support as possible from local individuals, companies and organisations. If you would like to get involved with the project by donating your time, skills or resources, please contact BHB Trustee, Jay Butler: email@example.com You can get up to date news on the project and pledge support at: www.facebook.com/BeaconHubBrighton
BEACON HUB BRIGHTON Charitable Incorporated Organisation (Reg. Charity No. 1,159,583)
Trustees: Libby Darling, Clive Bonny, Atlanta Cook, Jay Butler & Jo Spickett
Beacon Hub Brighton was invited to Rottingdean Parish council Beacon Hill working group AGM last Friday. The presentation was warmly received and many asked if they could access the presentation. Please find the presentation below:
The lease for the disused golf kiosk adjacent to Rottingdean windmill has been awarded to the community led Beacon Hub Project. Trustees of the project, Jay Butler – Project Manager, Jo Spickett – Conservation advisor and Libby Darling – CEO, accompanied by Rottingdean Parish Council Chair, Bob Webzell learned of their successful bid at a meeting of Brighton & Hove City council’s Transport, Environment and Sustainability committee on July 1st. The lease ensures the project’s credibility to now seek major funding to sensitively re-develop the building.
Pete West, chair of the City council committee, spoke enthusiastically about how the project (which has the backing of BBC wildlife broadcaster Chris Packham) will promote all that connects the local and wider community with nature and how the initiative links into the UNESCO Biosphere status recently awarded to the Brighton & Lewes downs.
The Beacon Hub team has expertise in environmental conservation, education and the arts. The plan is to convert the disused cabin and manage a 35 capacity classroom and land, for the benefit of children, walkers and numerous community groups, whilst providing a ‘gateway’ to the South Downs National Park. The ‘kiosk’ is situated next to the 40-acre Beacon Hill LNR (local nature reserve) within the South Downs National Park and neighbours the Beachy Head West MCZ (marine conservation zone).
Rottingdean residents and companies are invited to get involved with the project by volunteering expertise, time and resources – further details at https://www.facebook.com/BeaconHubBrighton or contact Jay Butler, Project Manger by Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
As support for the Beacon Hub Project (BHP) grows the BHP team are now petitioning Brighton and Hove City Council to grant them a minimum 15 year lease over the 7 year lease originally offered.
BHP have been advised by potential funders, South Downs National Park Authority and Heritage Lottery Fund, that they will not entertain funding the project based on a seven year lease and that a minimum 15 year lease is required.
Without funding to redevelop the building, the project is unlikely to succeed in that, the existing layout is only suited to small parties of children (12 max at a time). We must be able to accommodate classes of 35 children in order to attract patronage from stage schools.
BHP have created a petition to request that Brighton & Hove City Council grant a minimum fifteen year lease to the Beacon Hub project.
If you agree that the Beacon Hub is a worthy endeavor and that the City council should grant a longer lease to enable the project to qualify for funding please consider signing the petition:
You are invited to join a brief meeting with Beacon Hub Brighton “BHB” project team members this Wednesday April 02 at 7.30 pm at the Rottingdean Club, High Street, opposite the Plough pub. RSVP!
The aim of the meeting is to obtain your opinion on the response of BHCC to the proposal by several local volunteer groups to convert the Beacon Hill golf cabin and surrounding grassland into an education classroom and wild life interpretation centre for schools, local community groups and tourists.
Since last October BHB have created an open public community consultation website which highlighted the community benefits and successfully informed a wide range of stakeholders on the sustainability of the proposed improvements.
BHB submitted a very detailed proposal to BHCC in January with the written support of almost all local schools, community and volunteer groups, and churches. This document, attached, was put onto the Ovingdean and Rottingdean Village websites where it received further public support. It included a generous offer of a £25000 donation to refurbish the golf cabin into a 35 seat classroom from a local person.
BHB requested a lease for 20-25 years with a break clause after 7 years to fit with the existing Rottingdean Preservation Society lease on the Windmill. A minimum 7 years lease is needed to allow BHB to bid for additional funding from the Lottery and English Heritage, to build a user base for the classroom and create a sustainable offer for our schools, community groups, and tourists.
Last Friday March 28 BHCC emailed BHB advising our request for a 7 year lease was not an acceptable “risk” and offered a max 3 years provided they had guarantees of future usage and payments by schools and community groups BHCC gave a deadline of April 02 to reply
BHB have replied that this is untenable as potential classroom users cannot make specific payment commitments within a few days
BHB would also lose the private donation of £25000 and future public grant funding which is often matched to private funding
We are sorry for the short notice. If you are unable to attend we would appreciate any comments, opinions or ideas by email by April 02
Please also share this email with other interested parties.
Beacon Hill is a valuable community asset, which you can protect from private leisure companies IF YOU VOICE YOUR OPINION…
BHB local volunteers groups are experienced conservationists supporting children’s education and tourism.
Please let us know your views
Libby Darling, Atlanta Cook, Jay Butler, Jo Spickett & Clive Bonny.
On the southern edge of the nature reserve is an 18 hole pitch and putt golf course which has fallen into disuse. The land is owned by Brighton & Hove City Council and in the south east corner of the golf course is a building (kiosk) which was previously utilised as a café, toilets and to store golf clubs.
The Beacon Hub Project proposal to the council is that:
- Beacon Hub CIC (Community Interest Company) be allowed to take up the lease.
- The land should become a contiguous part of the nature reserve.
- Beacon Hub CIC be granted permission to re-develop the existing building as a ‘hub’ for community and educational use.
Here is an artist’s impression of before and after redevelopment of the golf kiosk:
You can download their full proposal here – Beacon Hub Proposal (PDF)
Take a look and see what you think. Post your views and comments below.