The Courtyard in Hastings. SUS-210208-143053001

The Courtyard: How Hastings seafront building went from derelict to thriving coastal venue

From what started as bathing pools, before being sealed off and standing derelict for decades, the former White Rock Bath Courtyard buildings have undergone a major redevelopment and been brought back to life.

Thursday, 5th August 2021, 1:01 pm

In just eight years, the building has gone from empty, to a ‘thriving new coastal hub in Hastings’ with tenants occupying the new Courtyard units which used to house the steam rooms and baths.

The redevelopment of the former White Rock Baths started in 2013 when Rich and Marc Moore put forward a proposal for the site.

In 2016, they opened Source Park, an underground BMX skate park. However, that was always just phase one as the pair had ambitions to transform the old courtyard back to its former glory with a retail and food plaza.

So after opening Source Park, with around a quarter of the building still derelict, The Source approached the council with a vision to develop the building in three phases.

The first two were done at the same time. This involved converting the two former bathing pools in to skate parks and the former lounger into the Source BMX and Skate Shop.

Then phase three was to develop the former steam rooms and baths, which run adjacent to the Courtyard, in to hospitality units which would complement the Source as the ‘anchor tenant’.

Rich and Marc’s vision hit a bump due to a lack of available funds, until an accelerated fund grant from Hastings Town Deal came along and the project could finally be completed.

The £485,000 redevelopment grant from Hastings Town Deal and a six-figure investment from The Source – as well as the opportunity presented by being closed through the pandemic – work on phase three commenced in late 2020.

The Source appointed the original architects – NCA – from phase one to plan the new units and the main contractor, Nexus, was appointed after winning the competitive tendering process.

Rich Moore said Nexus stood out as the most passionate firm as they are from Hastings and the director learned to swim at the White Rock Baths – like many of Hastings’ residents.

For the first time since the Victorians opened the White Rock Baths in 1879, the Courtyard units are directly accessible from the Courtyard itself and four new tenants now occupy the new Courtyard units, in what has been described as a ‘unique and thriving new coastal hub’ in Hastings.

Rich added: “It’s an incredible feeling to finally complete the conversion of the White Rock Baths after first seeing them and putting a proposal forward in 2013.

“It’s been the experience of our lives to see it all come together and work with so many incredible people along the way. When we were forced to close the skatepark in March last year, things looked very bleak so we feel very fortunate that this opportunity arose, with the help of the Hastings Town Deal, to complete Phase 3 of the building.

“The vibe in the Courtyard is more than we could have ever hoped for with amazing tenants, all owned and run by awesome and ultra creative people. With a skatepark, Vans/Source clothes store, juice bar, coffee shop, barbers, Brewhouse and the The Bok Shop, it’s all you ever need. It’s literally hard to leave sometimes.”

The other tenants:

The Bok Shop – a free-range fried chicken and vegan joint, found by Jamie O’Mara and Howard Kaye

Brewing Brothers – a brewhouse established by Ned and Charlie Braxton, and Billy Eriksson

Nelly’s – a kombucha, juice and smoothie bar, run by Lindsey Cox

Goodmans – a barbershop and coffee spot

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