Rathfinny Estate Sussex Wine tourism

Sussex Modern has now secured over £1m of funding for the region

Working in close partnership with South Downs National Park Authority, Plumpton College and Lewes District Council, we’ve secured £719,100 from the UK Community Renewal Fund to grow wine and cultural tourism, backed by sustainable transport, in our region.

This means exciting days ahead for the people who live, work, visit and come to stay in Sussex.  As Nathaniel Hepburn, Chief Executive of Charleston and our Interim Chair, puts it:

“With this funding and investment into key areas, local communities will benefit from quality tourism which will be a huge lift for Sussex’s post-pandemic recovery. This a momentous juncture for Sussex tourism.”


Rathfinny Wine Estate Sussex tourism

The UK’s wine country

Sussex is fast becoming the centre of England’s thriving wine scene, while also home to an abundance of cultural attractions and iconic landscapes. This is the contemporary picture of Sussex we’re proud to be spearheading as our visitor economy regathers itself from the fallout of the pandemic.

Now our horizons are expanding. We’d love Sussex to be talked of in the same breath as California’s Napa Valley and Margaret River in Australia. With our arts scene, green spaces, eco transport plans and visitor gateways in Gatwick and Newhaven, we’re all set to give even more people even more reasons to come and explore the wonders of modern Sussex.



The road ahead

Our work will start with a pilot in Lewes district to develop our plans, before we roll out our vision across the whole of Sussex. Expect to see a lot more bookable art and wine itineraries, green travel options, support for local hospitality businesses… and a clear place for Sussex on the global tourism map. 


In quotes

“The Lewes district has a cultural significance that needs promoting far more broadly than has been achieved to date. This funding can unlock that potential, creating a host of new opportunities for sustainable travel, business growth, employment, and training. My hope is that the award will put a new era of net zero-tourism in reach.”

Councillor Zoe Nicholson, Leader of Lewes District Council


“Sussex has one of the largest collections of vineyards in the UK that produce some of the finest wines in the country, from Stopham to Wiston in my constituency of Arundel & South Downs right across to Oxney and Tillingham in Rye. These businesses have a central role to play… and this funding will help to develop an evidence base to show that we can expand in a sustainable and low carbon way.” 

Andrew Griffith MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Great British Wine


“We want to establish the South Downs as an exemplar in sustainable tourism and this funding brings us one step closer to that goal. Our amazing visitor destinations and hospitality venues are part of what makes the South Downs National Park so special and it’s great to see this boost after such a difficult year for the tourism industry.”

Kat Beer, Sustainable Tourism Lead for the National Park


Keep in touch

These are exciting times for Sussex and we’re here to bring you the latest news, stories and curated experiences.

Stay in the loop by signing up for our newsletter below and following us on our socials.

Instagram: @SussexModern

Twitter: @SussexModern

Facebook: @SussexModern

Sign up to our newsletter

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Back to top

We use cookies to give you the best experience on our site. To find out more, read our privacy policy.