Organisations are being invited to put forward bids to run a nearly 100-year-old theatre.

People can submit proposals to take over the White Rock Theatre in Hastings from February next year.

The theatre includes five event spaces – the auditorium, the Sussex studio, the Campbell room, the café bar and the circle bar. These can all be used independently.

Hastings Borough Council agreed that the theatre, which was opened in 1927, should be marketed for lease from the end of the current contract.

The current contract with Trafalgar UK Theatres Hastings Ltd ends on January 31 next year.


The original contract was for ten years and allowed for an extension of five years which has been used. No further extensions are permitted under the terms of the contract. 

The council has been subsidising the theatre over the years but has reduced this in the last five years from £550,000 per year to £125,000.

The council could be bankrupt in seven months following a recent scathing report.

Andy Batsford, lead councillor for culture, said: "We believe that the White Rock is central to the rich cultural mix here in Hastings and can continue to offer a wide range of cultural activities for residents and visitors in the future.

“I look forward to seeing the bids that come forward and seeing how the building can deliver the cultural and community mix we have come to love in a new creative and sustainable way."

The council is looking for a seamless transition from the current contract to the new leaseholder, and retaining the relationships with community hirers, practitioners and participants.

If you would like to register your interest in the White Rock Theatre, please email for further information.