Eastbourne’s Towner Gallery, which recently raised the alarm over funding fears, has today (Tuesday, June 27) scooped nearly £1.5 million of Arts Council cash.
The Arts Council has revealed it will be investing just under £32 million in East Sussex’s arts and culture. This includes £1,437,400 for the Towner.
It was recently revealed that Eastbourne Borough Council was planning to cut its grant to the Towner by 50 per cent, saying the priority was to ‘avoid cuts to frontline public services’ and that ‘spending on non-statutory services is under review’.
Gallery director Emma Morris welcomed the Arts Council news and said, “We are delighted to have secured continued investment from Arts Council England in such precarious times, and the fact that they have renewed their funding at a standstill level for 2018 – 2022 reflects their confidence in the gallery and their recognition of the important work we do in helping to achieve their goals.
“We’re also pleased to see such strong investment in the visual arts throughout the South East, and it’s good news to see our Coastal Culture Trail partners Jerwood Gallery join the National Portfolio.”
Other East Sussex beneficiaries are Glyndebourne Productions Ltd, which receives £6 million, and the Jerwood Gallery at Hastings, which will benefit to the tune of £400,000.
In total, 21 arts and cultural organisations in East Sussex will together receive £31,796,428 over four years.
The investment in East Sussex reflects the depth and breadth of the county’s exciting cultural offer and highlights the Arts Council’s continuing commitment to investing more money than ever before outside London, said an Arts Council spokesperson.
Hedley Swain, area director, South East, Arts Council England said, “This is an exceptionally strong portfolio of organisations delivering great arts and cultural experiences to audiences throughout the East and South East of England.
“Our investment will support inventive, pioneering arts organisations, a range of museums and arts activity in libraries. It will reach into more places than ever before, providing more people of all ages and backgrounds with the opportunity to participate in the arts – inspiring them as artists, as audiences, or as a mix of both.
“We are delighted to be making an increased investment in East Sussex with some exciting new organisations joining the portfolio. All of our National Portfolio organisations will play an essential role in reaching more people, developing local, national and international talent, and making where they’re based great places to live, work and visit.”