The proposal is for a new maritime coastal environment centre at the far eastern end of the Bexhill-on-Sea promenade adjacent to the Bexhill-on-Sea angling club (BSAC). The lantern tower once belonged to Trinity House, the lighthouse authority for England and Wales who, as part of the deconstruction of the lighthouse, made efforts to find a home for the tower within the local community.
It will create a focal landmark at the end of the East Parade promenade, as well as provide a contemporary community facility complete with exhibition space and refreshments area.
Who are we?
Bexhill Maritime is a charity (CIO, Association model) made up of people from the local community whose wish is to develop a project that delivers on their constitutional purposes:
For the public benefit, to advance the education of the people living in Bexhill-on-Sea and surrounding area about the effects of climate change on the maritime environment, and about the marine, coastal, physical and natural environment. This will be achieved but not exclusively by:
- (a) the promotion of ways to mitigate climate change on the marine, coastal, physical and natural environment and
- (b) advancing the education of the public about all aspects of protection, improvement and legacy of the marine, coastal and physical environment.
A new building at the site currently housing the Bexhill Sea Angling Club (BSAC). The building provides for a new home for BSAC, as well as an enlarged contemporary community space, together with exhibition space and a refreshments area.
The location is a gateway to the Combe Valley Countryside Park, and adjoins the Beachy Head Designated Marine Conservation Zone, the Dungeness, Romney Marsh and Rye Bay Marine Special Protection Area (SPA) and lies on the Sussex Coastal Culture Trail.
- To create an aesthetically pleasing and dynamic focal point at the eastern end of the promenade breaking up the current vista of the concrete clad water treatment centre.
- To establish a maritime centre with flexible facilities to accommodate and host community groups.
- To provide an opportunity for local marine conservation projects, with the added potential for school and college visits to take place to explore both our maritime and environmental landscapes past, present and future.
- To create a model for sustainability, harnessing wind, ground source and solar energy with instrumentation for the public to monitor the power generation. Having a designated climate change centre can be a springboard
for other pertinent climate awareness and marine conservation projects such as a Time and Tide Bell.
- A memorial to those who have connections with the sea (fishermen, merchant navy, coastguards, RNLI, lifeguards, lighthouse keepers).
- A prominent place to fly flags from the top gallery (within permitted protocol).
- To create a regional and national visitor attraction for the large cohort of lighthouse and maritime enthusiasts both in the uk and globally.
- To display lighthouse artefacts and information with an audio-visual proactive reminiscence facility.
Royal Sovereign Lighthouse
The Royal Sovereign Lighthouse has been a familiar and much loved landmark off the Bexhill-on-Sea coast since 1971, when it replaced the last of a series of lightvessels which had marked the Royal Sovereign station since 1875.
Over the course of those fifty years, the familiar sound of the foghorn and the reassuring rotating beam of the light have become part of the town’s social history.
Having reached the extent of its design life of 50 years, Trinity House decommissioned the light in March 2022, and has started work to demolish the structure altogether. The Bexhill Maritime team has been working to save and acquire the unique lantern tower – the red and white lighthouse on top of the platform – as an asset for the town.
The effort has been successful. The plan is for the tower to be the focal point of a Maritime Centre on East Parade.
Bexhill Sea Angling Club
Bexhill Sea Angling Club was founded in 1912, and is one of the oldest clubs in Bexhill. After more than a century, the club has become a very important part of the heritage of the local community.
The new Maritime Coastal Environment Centre will deliver a larger dedicated space for the club than at present, with improved facilities.
You can find out more about the club by visiting their website: