Eastbourne’s Towner gallery is partly responsible for regeneration across the UK, according to new research.
Plus Tate partners - which includes Towner - helps to attract 3.5 million visits annually, according to the study entitled Plus Tate: Connecting Art with People with Places
The place of the contemporary visual arts in British society has been transformed over the last twenty years. The Plus Tate network, bringing eighteen cultural institutions together with Tate, provides a snapshot of this dynamic creative ecology.
The research says there is huge regenerative and economic benefits of this group of organisations.
The success of Plus Tate has led to plans to expand the network in spring 2015.
Plus Tate partners attracts 3.5 million visits annually, employ around 500 staff and collectively have an annual turnover of around £33 million.
A Plus Tate spokesperson said, “The wider public benefit does not just stop at the gallery door.
“In addition to extensive exhibition and learning programmes around international contemporary art, each institution is deeply committed to working with their local community attracting new and diverse audiences to art. Their onward supply chains generate substantial economic benefit.”
The Towner, known for its modern British art and growing collection of international contemporary works, aims to give the entire local community ownership of the gallery.
It supports a range of public programmes including in drug rehabilitation and mental health and has worked with more than 1,000 young offenders.
Emma Morris, executive director at Towner said, “The Towner welcomes over 120,000 people from all walks of life to our accessible building.
“We pride ourselves on providing inspiring, enriching art experiences to people living in Eastbourne and across the South East.”
Nicholas Serota, director for Tate, said, “The impact across communities through the imaginative work of these dynamic visual arts organisations has been transformational. Their ongoing success, however, depends on continuing strategic investment.
“We must make sure we nurture a creative asset that is admired across the world.”
The new John Virtue exhibition is now showing at the Towner until April 12.
In a striking departure from the huge paintings of London which formed the subject matter of his highly acclaimed exhibition at the National Gallery as Associate Artist in 2005, these new paintings take the vast, dark expanse of the North Sea as a central theme.
The exhibition is free and open Tuesday to Sunday.