The Civic Centre was built in 1991 and it has been the home of the Uckfield Town Council since that time. The Civic Centre was designed not only to be the home of the Uckfield Town Council but also to play an important role in the community by providing excellent facilities for a variety of users. Luxfords Restaurant within the Civic Centre has been run by the Town Council since 1995 and has proved to be a popular venue for morning coffee catch-ups and being unbiased, reasonably priced, freshly-made lunches.
Unfortunately, the décor and furniture had been the same for over 20 years and it was all starting to look a little tired. Restaurant customers took part in a survey in 2016 and although respondents liked the comfort of the restaurant, they suggested that the space needed updating and modernising and the seating needed to be refreshed. So, the Town Council took the decision to refurbish the restaurant and work began in October 2018.
It was important that local contractors were used for the work and that costs were kept to a minimum. Our customers had told us that they loved the space for people to move around, comfortable seating, free Wi-Fi and table service so it was important to retain those features.
The team worked together to find both contractors and suppliers and we presented various décor options to the town councillors for a final decision.
The work was undertaken in just under three weeks. This was always going to be a challenge but with the Model Railway Weekend looming and a line-up of Christmas events and activities at year end, it was important that the bulk of the work were undertaken by then. It was also important for our regular customers to keep the restaurant open as many days as possible. Our temporary set up in the Weald Hall worked well and we managed to open the restaurant in there for at least three to four days a week during the renovations.
We were pleased to be able to celebrate the refurbishment with an official opening by the Mayor, Cllr Spike Mayhew at our Italian Opera dinner, which was a great success. We still have some finishing touches to make to the space, but the opera evening demonstrated how well the restaurant could be transformed from day to night.
We are particularly looking forward to 2019, when we plan to hold more themed evening events and offer the exclusive use of the space for businesses either for dinners, presentations, wine and cheese evenings or similar events.
Holly Goring, Town Clerk.