A visitor centre at an eroding cliff is being moved before part of the building falls into the sea.

The National Trust, which operates the Birling Gap Visitor Centre, has moved its café towards the back of the building due to safety fears over the continually eroding Seven Sisters cliff.

Work will also start this year to take down the front section of the centre, formerly the café, and the rest of the west wing.

Earlier this month, Birling Gap Beach was closed following a rockfall around New Year.

A National Trust spokesman said: “The visitor building at Birling Gap sits on top of the Seven Sisters chalk cliffs, on a shoreline that’s constantly changing due to rising sea levels, erosion and weathering. These natural processes have been occurring for centuries and have shaped Birling Gap and the Seven Sisters that are seen today.

“The National Trust takes a long-term view to planning for the future by working with natural coastal change where possible.

The Argus: The visitor Centre is metres away from the cliff edgeThe visitor Centre is metres away from the cliff edge (Image: Sussex News and Pictures)

“As part of these plans, the visitor facility at Birling Gap is continuing to adapt to coastal change. The latest adaptations include the relocation of the café into the old visitor centre space further away from the cliff edge.

“A new visitor welcome space has also been created behind the café.

“The section of the building nearest the cliff edge will be taken down this year to ensure we keep visitors safe and continue to adapt to the changing coastline. The beach remains closed until further notice while we continue to assess visitor safety.”

Between 2010 and 2013 plans were developed for the building at Birling Gap, which had previously been a hotel and bar.

The work was completed in 2013 but in January 2014 there was a series of cliff falls.

The National Trust said altogether about seven metres of the cliffs were lost in about seven weeks.

As a result, parts of the café were only around five metres from the cliff edge.

In February 2014 the sun lounge, ice-cream parlour and part of the west wing of the hotel were taken down.

Since then the cliffs have continued to erode at an “unpredictable rate” and parts of the building are now within metres of the cliff, the National Trust said.