Towner gallery boss leaves post

Emma Morris, new boss of the Towner SUS-140104-121126003
Emma Morris, new boss of the Towner SUS-140104-121126003

Towner director Emma Morris has left her role at the Eastbourne gallery this week after four-and-a-half years at the helm.

The trustees of the gallery have said in a statement, “The Trustees announced today that after four years at Towner our director Emma Morris has decided to leave to pursue other career opportunities.

“We wish her every success. We look forward to working with Niamh Pearce as acting director and all the staff at Towner to ensure our future as one of the most exciting and welcoming galleries in the UK.”

Back in May, Ms Morris had been critical of Eastbourne Borough Council’s decision to cut its investment by half to £300,000 a year.

She said that the planned cuts were ‘catastrophic’ and could mean job losses, a drop in the number of exhibitions and the loss of learning programmes with vulnerable groups in the community.

She added, “This is a move that potentially threatens the very survival of the town’s flagship cultural institution.

“A cut on this scale would have a catastrophic effect on the gallery, a much diminished cultural experience for Eastbourne’s residents and visitors and will inevitably threaten other crucial funding sources. “If other funding sources are lost as a result of our reduced offer it would ultimately mean the complete closure of the gallery.”

A council spokesperson said at the time, “Eastbourne recently received one of the worst reductions in Government funding. Our priority to avoid cuts to frontline public services is unchanged but spending on statutory and non-statutory services is under review.”