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Lathe Barn in Burmarsh up for sale for £900,000 on Rightmove

By Sean Axtell

A well-known visitor attraction is on the market for £900,000 after it closed for a second time in a year.

Lathe Barn, in Donkey Street, Burmarsh, has appeared on property site Rightmove as a 2.5 hectares space with tearooms, children’s farm and playground.

The freehold sale, which surfaced shortly before the attraction’s last business day, is being marketed by East Sussex based BTF Partnerships.

Lathe Barn was taken over by Katy and James Beck last autumn but the business has been hit by cash flow problems
Lathe Barn was taken over by Katy and James Beck last autumn but the business has been hit by cash flow problems

Its blurb says: “The Lathe Barn is situated within an area of Kent known as the Romney Marsh, renowned for its natural beauty and comprises a mixture of residential, commercial, agricultural buildings and land, in all extending to approximately 6.24 acres.

“The component parts of the property are private one/two bed living accommodation, tea rooms, able to seat approximately 85 inside.

“(Additionally) a gift shop and granary office, children’s farm and play barn and three separate retail units currently let to third parties.

“In all approximately 6.24 acres. Further land available by separate negotiation.”

Husband and wife Katy and James Beck took over last autumn and reopened in November 2017.

Mr Beck said the duo had been running the venue in the hope of buying the site outright next year.

But the business was hit with cash flow problems and the owners couldn’t secure a bank loan for the purchase.

A well-known visitor attraction has closed for a second time in a year
A well-known visitor attraction has closed for a second time in a year

Overheads, staffing costs and visitor numbers were contributing factors, he explained.

He said: "We had so many plans. It has a mountain of potential.

"If someone came along with a bit of money and was wiling to invest, there's the opportunity to do something special."

The company’s website has since been removed, however, a recent Facebook post said the closure was “with a heavy heart.”

Customers continued to leave positive feedback on TripAdvisor review site.

One reviewer said: “The guy on the entrance desk was super friendly and very informative.

“The children loved getting in with the rabbits and guinea pigs, riding on the train and the fairground rides, climbing, sliding and digging in the sand pit.

“There is an indoor soft play area too but it was such a lovely day we didn’t venture inside.”

Previous owners Martin and Tracy Dunne in summer 2017 closed the venue due to "unforeseen circumstances".

Before then, Diana and Denis Wimble had owned the business for 16 years but decided to take a step back and spend more time with their family.

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