New deal secures future of community arts centre

Cllr Keith GlazierTHE future of a creative centre which is the workplace of more than 30 local artists has been secured in a deal brokered by East Sussex County Council.

Management of Rye Creative Centre has been transferred today (12 June) to a local firm who have agreed to run it as a community asset on a long-term lease.

The agreement struck with Martello Rye Creative Centre Limited means the firm commits to run the centre as a community arts centre, investing in the building infrastructure to ensure it continues to provide community services including workshops and exhibitions.

The centre has been closed since March because of the outbreak of Covid-19. East Sussex County Council has been managing and maintaining the centre since the former head tenant, a charity, went into liquidation in 2018.

The new management team will be upgrading the building ahead of its re-opening and working with tenants to agree a plan for them to return as soon as possible.

The deal also includes an option for Martello to take over the freehold of the site in New Road after the first five years of the lease.

Councillor Keith Glazier, leader of East Sussex County Council and member for Rye and Eastern Rother, said: “It’s excellent news that we’ve managed to secure the future of Rye Creative Centre for the artists who work there and for the whole community. It’s a valuable part of cultural life in this part of the world and I’m looking forward to seeing it continue to flourish under this new arrangement.”

A spokesman for Martello said: “We’re confident that the planned works will improve everyone’s experience of the centre and we look forward to more great work from the artists at the upgraded Rye Creative Centre.”