Saving the Heritage Centre

Some of the individuals who are trying to save Rye's heritage model from storage.

The staff at the Heritage and Information Centre in Rye are doing their upmost to prevent the closure of the centre. Sadly this closure was decided by Rye Town Council, with little public consultation. The outcome is that closure having become public knowledge, action is being taken to prevent the council possibly placing the town model in storage.

The reason for the intended storage is the fact the model is very large and a suitable space within Rye for public display is difficult to find. At a meeting held at the centre on Monday, November 4, attended by over 40 individuals, numerous ideas were suggested. In due course these ideas will probably finalise in forming a charitable organisation, because a charitable organisation can attract funding that the town council cannot.

What is difficult is the time frame. The council has set a December 31 deadline to complete a viable business plan. Otherwise the present plan is that the centre will be let to a charity in April 2020, probably as yet another shop fundraising for charities.

Editor’s notes:

See this week’s article on the last Rye barge. Why not be more ambitious and save both barge and model – it might even be easier to raise the money for a bigger project.

See this week’s story about another council meeting about the Centre.

Image Credits: John Wylie .


  1. I am very interested in this project and have had experience of setting up and running a CIC (Community Interest Company). Also I have run a significant conservation project, at the same time, which entailed working very closely with the local town’s counsellors and officers. The result being the Grade 2* listing of a public work of art which was signed off by the late lamented Minister for CMS, Tessa Jowell.
    From my experience of journalism and PR, particularly during the process I describe above, politicians become surprisingly attentive when local campaigns begin.
    Rye has no official tourism office and therefore no showcase for its abundant attractions. Please tread carefully before handing this over to a charity.
    The history of this town and its artistic and cultural connections are formidable.
    Best regards
    Steph Mitchell


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