Rye Observer Comment

Rye has often been overlooked as the important arts and culture centre that it is - now the town is to get a new theatre and two screen cinema that it fully deserves.

This week the Rye Observer salutes the handful of heroes who fought and won a two year battle to retain the town’s much loved FE Centre for community use.

Hastings College may have technically been the legal owners of the Lion Street site but in terms of morals and fairness their argument was bankrupt.

The FE Centre was gifted to the town by a former Mayor with the express intention that it be used for the good of the local community. The College acquired it from East Sussex County Council for a token £1 sum to provide learning courses and activities for local people.

Why should Hastings College, recently deemed as a failing institution by Ofsted, pocket more than £1 million by selling it off for luxury housing?

Former College principal Sue Middlehurst was determined to see the site sold to developers but she reckoned without the skilled knowledge, drive and determination of some of the figures we have in the town.

There is an old saying her in Sussex that we ‘Won’t Be Druv’ and the group who teamed up with the church to acquire Lion Street for the town are an embodiment of that phrase.