From: Malcolm Simmons
Towner Gallery was established in 1922 as “An Art Gallery for the people”, nearly a century ago during which our great art has been available freely to residents and visitors alike.
The Towner’s outreach has inspired generations by its availability to all. Currently nearly 10,000 people of all ages including many of the most vulnerable in our society are helped by Towner’s Health and Wellbeing programme. Towner is much more than just a gallery. Now, Eastbourne Borough Council has proposed a 33 per cent cut in its funding this coming financial year and further incremental cuts in subsequent years, seriously threatening the gallery’s future.
This iconic gallery has assumed national importance and is one of only four galleries nationwide to attract a partnership with the Arts Council Collection. Last year it attracted nearly 150,000 visitors to the gallery and the town. With £44 million being spent on the Devonshire Park redevelopment of which Towner is an important and integral part, it seems not only naive but bad business sense not to acknowledge the importance to our tourist trade of the town’s greatest cultural asset.
Margate, Bexhill, Hastings and Brighton all recognise and capitalise on the tourist potential of their respective galleries. Such a shame that our council seems not to do so. These extent of these cuts will greatly diminish not only our gallery but the life of our town. Please think again Eastbourne Borough Council.