The green light has been given for a valuable and ambitious initiative for a creative hub in the Devonshire Ward area Eastbourne.
Comprising five venues along Seaside Road, all within minutes walking distance from one another, the Devonshire Collective will provide artists’ studios, makerspaces, a workshop, a gallery and cafe.
The project will offer a resource that aims to integrate arts into the regeneration of Devonshire Ward and will involve the Hippodrome Theatre and Leaf Hall as collaborative partners, as well as having links to the Towner Gallery.
As part of the Driving Devonshire Forward initiative it is designed to create a dynamic, managed collection of businesses and practice which will spearhead an influx of independent retailers and deliver a range of creative projects that attract audiences, provide employment, engage the community as well as fostering well-being and social cohesion
In addition to Eastbourne Borough Council’s commitment to the project, which gets underway immediately, the initiative has been made possible by securing funding from Devonshire West Big Local and East Sussex County Council.
DC3, the workshop space at 1-5 Seaside, will be ready by late September, the Cafe and Gallery at DC1 is scheduled to open on November 17, and the studio spaces at DC2 are expected to be ready to view by mid November.
The Makerspaces include the Print Room, which will enable participants to experience a variety of printmaking processes and will serve as a teaching facility to provide opportunities for beginners and experienced practitioners to further their understanding of printmaking.
The space will also be available for artists to produce limited editions and will be run by Eastbourne based, professional artist Jan Turner.
The second Makerspace will be a contemporary creative space for ceramics as a craft and art form, run by Eastbourne Studio Pottery.
Creatives who have expressed an interest in taking on studio spaces include 2D animator Plume Animation headed by Richard Jackson and painter and illustrator Liz Hankins.
More businesses will be announced over the coming weeks.
A series of events, exhibitions and workshops will also be announced, and people can find out more via the website www.devonshirecollective.co.uk or email email@example.com
Martin Jones at Eastbourne council said, “As part of the Driving Devonshire Forward initiative the collective will bring back to life previously empty shops, in turn supporting the business regeneration of the area, creating more jobs and opportunities for the community.”
Project manager Christine Harmar Brown said, “We are delighted to be part of such an exciting and inspirational project.
“Eastbourne is buzzing with creative energy and talent. People have been enormously encouraging and supportive of this initiative, which means that there is a real sense of ownership in the town.”