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illustration [part], The Old Mint House, 2018, Christine Racher
all rights reserved

Read the exclusive interview with Jason Rolf, the new owner of the historic Mint House in Pevensey in the forthcoming edition of the Pevensey Bay Journal.

In the wide ranging interview, Jason talks about the moment that he decided to buy the Mint House up to the first stage in clearing the site, key winter repairs to the Mint House and beyond

He reveals the extraordinary plan to see the historic Mint House put on the creative industries map in the South East

The interview was conducted over the period of a month from 12 August—16 September, beginning with an email exchange, a phone call, research and the setting and answering of a series of ten key questions about the vision and enterprise behind the decision to purchase the Mint House.

Jason begins by talking about the 24 hours that led up to the day of the auction “I’d spotted The Old Mint House earlier in the year when it came to auction previously but I was busy with another project so when it came up again I decided to investigate further.

“I look at a lot of prospective commercial properties and they have to make long-term financial sense. At the Old Mint House there were clearly a lot of issues that would need attention and it was going to be difficult to evaluate quickly especially with the auction only a few weeks away. On top of that the years it had remained vacant meant it was being slowly engulfed by vegetation, some of which had made its way inside the property.

“After downloading the full legal pack and reading through every document I spent evenings and weekends contacting anyone who might offer up some helpful advice and information. Much like the viewing, this brought good and bad news but with just one day till the auction I had worked out it was just about viable to take on and 24 hours later I was the new owner”.

Following the interview, Simon Montgomery, editor of the Pevensey Bay Journal writing to Jason Rolf said, “Thanks for talking to us. We meant what we said when we first talked to you. What we are hearing is both exciting and of demonstrable potential value to the historic village of Pevensey and the fragile economic base of the village that stands at a unique place in the history of this country.

“Given the little that we have heard about your experience, we believe, instinctively, that we are seeing someone who may be able make some extraordinary things happen for Pevensey, both from an economic and creative perspective, what a place to make these things happen, does not get much better in the locality than the historic Mint House”.

The full interview is published on 29 September.

Two starters for ten

Your company
Journal: We note that the name of your company is a kind of violin and that the Chief Executive is an ex-professional violinist, these are stand out credentials and rare for an investment company generating a philosophy that has very interesting roots, leading to work that is both particular and demanding. Bet the boardroom meetings are a buzz. Do you want to say anything about the company and your place in the company and how your background experience got you to the position of buying the Mint House?

Jason Rolf: I work for an Edinburgh-based fund manager which specialises in investing into high-growth UK businesses. It was named Amati after the family of Italian violin makers from the 16th century. When I joined in 2010 the partners were already supporting the arts scene up in Scotland so I thought I’d try and do something similar down in the South-East. The philosophy behind Amati’s investments is to be patient and invest for the long-term which has been a successful formula for the firm and its clients

Start up digital companies
Journal: We talked a little about your suggestion that a possibility might be a few digital start up companies based in the building. Do you want to say if you have thought any more about these possibilities?

Jason Rolf: Ideally I’d like to get the building tenanted with the creative arts. The full property is classed as B1 commercial which tends to bring in small, light industries typically from the creative sector. These can be anything from handicrafts right through to digital productions. There is a huge shortage of simple, inexpensive commercial units for small businesses to work from and I believe The Old Mint House would be a fabulous opportunity and location for this.

Read the full interview exclusively in the pages of the Pevensey Bay Journal, edition 21, published on Saturday 29 September.

The Pevensey Bay Journal is a member of the Independent Community News Network (ICNN), now also part of the beta stage of the Google Digital Innovation Fund investment made in the Centre for Community Journalism. All rights to this interview, or any part of this interview, are the subject of copyright and protected.