Self-catering units among £4.5m plans for fortresses

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A total of £3.69 million has been set aside in the Government Plan, which was approved earlier this month, to renovate Elizabeth Castle, including repairing a ‘deteriorating’ section of it which was earmarked for refurbishment almost 40 years ago.

A further £1 million has been allocated to upgrade St Aubin’s Fort to improve its usage as a residential and activity centre.

The funding for Elizabeth Castle is due to come in two tranches – £1.265 million in 2022 and £2.425 million in 2023.

The report outlining the spending plans says that restoration work will be carried out on the neglected Victorian Military Hospital, coal store and officers’ quarters, while temporary event facilities will be developed on the castle’s green.

‘[The Victorian Military Hospital is] a rare and significant building which has never been returned to public use since damage during the Second World War,’ it says.

‘The building is derelict, economically redundant and deteriorating and has been regarded by the Government of Jersey as a priority for refurbishment since 1980.

‘The proposal brings the buildings into use as part of the visitor attraction amenity of the castle and creates opportunities for commercial use in space hire.’

It adds that the officers’ quarters are due to be
converted to self-catering rental accommodation, adding to existing units at the site.

‘Elizabeth Castle’s houses were the first heritage lets developed by Jersey Heritage in the 1990s
and the proposal expands capacity of this
popular scheme,’ the report says.

Under the plans, a new pontoon is also due to be built alongside the Elizabeth Castle Breakwater.

Meanwhile, £500,000 has been set aside in both 2022 and 2023 to fund upgrades at St Aubin’s Fort.

The proposals are for the cabin to be replaced to allow better catering facilities, extend its usable season, upgrade its education/adventure facilities and improve its child-safeguarding provision.

‘St Aubin’s Fort has provided young people with adventure and outdoor learning opportunities for more than 30 years,’ the report says.

‘The centre is popular with primary and secondary schools, Highlands College youth projects, uniformed youth organisations and faith groups.

‘Both the residential and activity centre share the changing, showering and catering facilities.

‘During peak season groups in residence are required to share facilities with activity centre users. This can cause logistical challenges and safeguarding concerns.’

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