History of the Hillcrest Community Centre
In 1993 the Lewes Tertiary College acquired the Adult Education Centre from East Sussex County Council. In 1995 it announced its intention to sell. A campaign of local people, many of whom had attended the centre when it was a school, fought against this decision. They argued that Newhaven was lacking in decent community facilities and had already lost many local buildings of historical interest.
The Hillcrest Centre was a local landmark and much-loved local resource. From 1996 to 1998 a full-scale campaign involving hundreds of local people worked hard to save the Centre. They argued that it had much greater potential as a multi-use community centre than a just one focussing on adult education. They persuaded local politicians, the local regeneration partnership and the Government Office of the South East that the transfer of this community asset to the ownership of a local charitable company, run by local people, was the best way forward. £425,000 was raised from a combination of SRBII funds, Landfill Tax and English Partnerships. On 31st July 1998 the Lewes Tertiary College handed over the deeds to the Hillcrest Community Partnership, a charitable trust of people from Newhaven, who have continued to run and develop the Hillcrest Community Centre successful since then. It is a local charity run by local people providing a community centre for local people.