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Local people want St Mary in the Castle to be kept as an arts centre

April 1, 2012

At the end of March, coinciding with the close of the period to make an expression of interest to become the new lessee of St Mary in the Castle, Lib Dem campaigner Nick Perry has delivered a petition to Hastings Borough Council signed by more than 300 supporters.

The petition, delivered to the Borough Solicitor on 30 March, is intended to demonstrate to the Council the strength of local feeling about this iconic building. Local people want the building to remain available for arts and live performance.

Speaking outside Aquila House, Nick Perry said, “People from across the Borough and from further afield have been very clear in their support of what has been provided at St Mary in the Castle in the recent past. They are clear that the venue is well suited to the arts, and has a wonderful live performance space with fantastic acoustics. This building is not just a jewel in Hastings’ crown, but in the crown of the whole region.

“As it considers the expressions of interest received, we are asking the Council to listen to the voice of local people on this issue. There was a serious mistake made at the beginning of the process, when no specific reference was made in the documentation to retaining St Mary in the Castle as an arts centre, but the Council has an opportunity to make up for this mistake and announce a preferred provider who will safeguard and improve on the work that has been done in recent months.

“As we celebrate the success of the new gallery on the Stade, my view remains that the Council needs to have a clear strategy for developing our whole seafront: from the Old Town to West St Leonards. Securing the future of St Mary in the Castle as an arts centre should be a major plank of such a strategy.”

You can still show your support for Nick’s campaign by signing the petition on our local party website:

http://har0ld.org.uk/en/petition/i-want-st-mary-in-the-castle-to-be-kept-as-an-arts-centre

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