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Competition: Bohemia leisure and cultural centre, Hastings

Hastings Pier by dRMM ph3
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Hastings Borough Council is recruiting a design team to explore leisure and cultural options for the Bohemia area of its town centre

The winner of the maximum £100,000 contract will complete an initial options appraisal for new leisure and cultural facilities within the 33ha Bohemia district immediately north of dRMM’s Stirling Prize-winning Hastings Pier (pictured).

The feasibility study is part of an ambitious comprehensive masterplan drawn up by the London Studio of Swedish practice White Arkitekter for the ‘underused and undervalued’ seafront area, which stretches from White Rock Theatre along Bohemia Road and includes the Convent of the Holy Child Jesus and Summerfields leisure centre.

In its brief, the council says: ‘Bohemia will be transformed through investment in the public realm, the reuse of a key seafront site, regeneration of open spaces, and new housing development, complemented by new leisure, cultural and tourism facilities. The development will be a game-changer, a celebration of the Hastings spirit, which builds on existing qualities and unlocks the potential of this part of town.

‘The overall objective is to generate a critical mass of activity that is deliverable and distinctive whilst at the same time, creating a high quality cultural and leisure destination with a strong sense of place and good connections with the wider area with consideration being given to colocation and shared facilities, and connectivity to the rest of the town is also important.’

Hastings is a south-coast resort town, around 85 km from London, and has been tipped for significant regeneration in recent years. dRMM’s redevelopment of Hastings Pier won the 2017 Stirling Prize but last year was sold by administrators to the owner of Eastbourne Pier, Abid Gulzar.

Last month a letter by Amber Rudd concerning the closure of dRMM’s Stirling Prize-winning Hastings Pier was heralded as a thinly veiled attack on the prime minister’s handling of Brexit.

Other cultural attractions in the formerly depressed but now up-and-coming coastal town include HAT Projects’ Jerwood Gallery and the waterfront Stade open space by Tim Ronalds Architects.

The latest study will outline plans for new cultural and leisure facilities to replace the existing outdated White Rock Theatre and Summerfields leisure centre. Leisure facilities are likely to include a swimming pool, gym, sports hall, squash courts, skate park, tennis courts and outdoor bowling area. Cultural features would include a 2,000-capacity theatre, 500-capacity studio theatre, rehearsal studios, café, roof terrace, box office, offices, and dressing rooms.

Bids will be evaluated 70 per cent on quality and 30 per cent on cost. Bidders must have £10 million of employer’s liability insurance, £10 million of public liability insurance and £2 million of professional indemnity insurance.

The deadline for applications is 10 May.

How to apply

View the contract notice for more information

Contact details

Gerry Palmer
Wealden District Council
Breeds Place
Hastings
East Sussex
TN34 3UY

Tel: 01323 443350
Email: gerry.palmer@wealden.gov.uk 

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