A semi-regular round-up of everything going on in the Hastings Commons 

By Andrew Myers

What is the Hastings Commons?

It’s a place – a collection of buildings in the America Ground, Hastings.

It’s an ecosystem of organ-isations working together – Heart of Hastings, White Rock Neighbourhood Ventures, Jericho Road Solutions, Leisure & Learning, and Project Art Works (among others!).

Most importantly, it’s an ethos – community-led regeneration. We aim to transform dereliction into community-owned vibrant spaces and homes that are community-owned, collaboratively-managed and affordable forever.

What are the buildings?

So far – Rock House, the Observer Building, 39 Cambridge Road, 10 Claremont, Rose Cottage, Eagle House – oh, and some caves!

What’s going on then?

The big news this month is Hastings Commons Open Day on Friday 10th September. 

The latest addition to the Hastings Commons family of buildings, Eagle House at 29 Cambridge Road (formerly Daltons Furniture Showroom) will be opening its doors to the public as The Common Room, and we’re celebrating in style with a packed day of events and activities.

Hang on, I hear you ask, what do you mean by The Common Room? 

It’s a free, no pressure, friendly and welcoming space where you don’t have to spend money. You can just relax in good company with people from different walks of life, on good days or bad! And over time there’ll be all kinds of events and activities happening there – courses, workshops, discussion groups, you name it! 

This is right up-to-the-minute in terms of current thinking about the future of town centres – moving away from retail and towards creating places where people want to spend time. 

And we want people to feel involved from the get-go – hence the Open Day!

In the morning, in conjunction with national Heritage Open Days and the Hastings and St Leonards Society, we’re running two tours of the mighty Observer Building. Email [email protected] to book your place.

At 12pm, local history legend Steve Peak will lead a walking tour of the America Ground, the area of Hastings that was a lawless no-man’s land until taken over by the Crown in 1835. 

Places on these tours are very limited, but don’t despair, we plan to run more!

At 1pm, we will be making history with the Grand Opening of Eagle House. Camerados’ founder Maff Potts will be leading a conversation around the concept of the ‘public living room’ at 2pm, so don’t miss this if you want to know what it’s all about!

From 3pm you can choose to go on a tour of all the buildings in the Commons, or just stay in Eagle House and check out our mini-version of a Fun Palace, a many-splendoured panoply of stalls and activities. 

Is it entirely sensible to try and do all this in one day? Come and find out. See you there!

Hastings Commons Open Day, Friday 10th September 29 Cambridge Road (opposite ESK) from 1.00pm

For information about the walking tours or any other questions email [email protected]


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