Here’s your chance to bag a property bargain and a bit of Hastings history at the same time.
The Old Town Hall, in Hastings Old Town’s High Street is on the market. Hastings Borough Council announced this morning that it is inviting expressions of interest from potential purchasers.
The Old Town Hall was built in 1823 but was soon too small for Hastings Corporation as it was then, which moved its headquarters to the Town Hall in Queen’s Road in 1881. After that, the Old Town Hall was used as a museum, until that closed in 2015.
The building was then rented out by the council as a Children’s Discovery Centre, but that closed last year.
Peter Chowney, leader of Hastings Borough Council said: “We’ve been advertising this building for rent for over year. Although there has been no interest, no-one has come forward with a proposal to take it on. It’s a difficult and expensive building to maintain, and its listed status means it can’t be divided up or substantially modified.
“As a registered Asset of Community Value, there is an initial six-week moratorium period for qualifying local community interest groups to express an interest in bidding for the property.
“If any eligible groups express an interest in that time, a six-month moratorium period will give the community group time to prepare their bid.
“At the end of the six months, if a community group has successfully put a bid together, we will have the option to either accept the bid or sell the property freely on the open market.
“However, we are still open to proposals from local groups or businesses to take on a lease for the building – we have now had expressions of interest from a couple of local groups, so we’ll be looking at those. But in the end, we can’t just leave the building empty as it’s a blight on the High Street – it needs to be occupied, by someone who can maintain it, afford the bills, and make good use of it.”