April 29th, 2024.

Newhaven Fort has unveiled plans for new interactive exhibits as part of its £7.5 million restoration. These exhibits will uncover forgotten personal stories and transport visitors back in time with new immersive experiences.

Included in the plans is the Sussex Front Line, a brand-new exhibition coming to the Fort to explain how the Second World War began and how Sussex played a key role in the nation’s defence and eventual victory.

The fort’s Home Front exhibition is being entirely revamped with new immersive sets, so visitors can experience how everyday life changed in Sussex during the war years, from stepping into shops and onto railway platforms to inside the home, plus an enhanced air-raid shelter experience.

Many of the new exhibits will feature personal accounts, with a focus on the role local women played on the Home Front during the war, from munitions workers to those in the Women’s Voluntary Service and the Women’s Land Army, known as the ‘land girls’.

As part of the restoration project, the layout is also being redesigned with new exhibitions, activity spaces and a new shop and reception area being moved into different, refurbished casemates at the Fort to make better use of the space.

Lindsay Lawrence, general manager, said: “We’re so excited to give a first look at some of the new exhibits we’re bringing to the Fort.

“Our collections custodian Frankie and I have been delving into the archives and collecting local stories from the people of Sussex, working closely with our design team to create new, more engaging experiences, as well as improving our existing immersive areas, such as our air raid shelter.

“Our focus has been to uncover stories which have not been told before, including stories from women who played a wide-ranging role in the war effort here in Newhaven and were vital in keeping the country going.

“We can’t wait to welcome visitors back next year so they can see the transformation and experience it all for themselves.”

The milestone restoration project is taking place throughout 2024, with Newhaven Fort set to reopen in early 2025.

As well as new exhibitions, the restoration will include a redeveloped adventure playground, new access to gun emplacements and a completely refurbished battery observation post with magnificent views across the coast, which has never been open to the public before.

The Romney Hut is undergoing refurbishment to transform it into a versatile all-year round event space for school activities, weddings, community events, corporate hire and more.

Essential repairs and maintenance work are also being carried out across the Fort to preserve the historic Sussex landmark for future generations.

To find out more about Newhaven Fort and its restoration visit
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