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Redoubt Restoration to Cement Fortress for Future Generations

22 Oct 2018

Plans for the restoration of the Redoubt Fortress are marching forward with exploratory works to the scheduled ancient monument beginning in the New Year, helping to cement its future for generations to come.

 

Redoubt FortressOnce the season draws to a close on 4 November, the fortress will pack away its displays for safe keeping so that investigations can begin in January, prior to works that will both improve accessibility and restore the building back to its former Napoleonic glory.

Stripping back decades of paint and masonry, the works will mean the closure of the iconic building during weekdays throughout 2019, opening on weekends for guided hard hat tours telling the Redoubt’s story and giving a peek behind the scenes at some of the previously hidden away nooks and crannies.

The fortress’s vibrant events programme will still continue throughout the works, including monthly Culture and Cake talks, film screenings and Twilight Tours. The Outpost café will open at weekends and a viewing platform will also give a glimpse into the exterior works taking place as part of the ‘behind-the-scenes’ tours.

As part of the works, the fortress will see essential improvements to accessibility, including a lift for wheelchairs, which will also increase the capacity for holding bigger events in future. The project will also enable the 1807 building to become more energy efficient, reducing the carbon footprint and running costs.

Eastbourne Borough Council Lead Cabinet Member for Tourism and Enterprise, Cllr Margaret Bannister said “As a scheduled ancient monument, it is essential that these works take place to not only protect this historical treasure, but also enable the fortress to operate as a viable attraction for many years to come.

Building adaptations inside and out over the last century, have put the fortress at risk of potential damage, with some areas currently closed for safety reasons. This restoration will sustain its unique structure and enable the venue to hold much bigger events and increase its programme of activities, as well as stripping back layers of time and returning much of the fortress back to its former glory.”

Guided hard hat tours led by knowledgeable heritage guides, will continue to tell the fascinating story of past coastal invasions and how the fortress came to be, it’s unique engineering, how it was used and the life of soldiers and their families there. Tours will, when the works allow, also incorporate previously unexplored parts of the fortress including the Victorian latrines, closed off caponiers and even the moat.

The Redoubt Fortress is open daily until 4 November 2018 with a variety of events including ghostly Twilight Tours, a Halloween film screening and a half term spooky children’s trail.

The fortress reopens next year from 26 March 2019 at weekends only for guided hard hat tours, events and the Outpost Café, while works take place. Heritage Eastbourne will also be running The Story of Eastbourne temporary exhibition next year from 16 February in a new heritage hub in Terminus Road.

For more information visit www.HeritageEastbourne.co.uk or telephone 01323 410300.

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