Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

New gallery to open

The Jerwood Gallery is on the beachfront area of Hastings Old Town Photo: The Jerwood Gallery

The South East's latest cultural centre opens this weekend with the promise it will regenerate the local area - but not everyone is convinced.

The £4 million Jerwood Galley is on the historic beachfront area of Hastings Old Town known as the Stade, and will display about 150 British prints and paintings. It's been funded and built by the Jerwood Charitable Foundation - an arts and education body which has amassed a large collection of modern art.

The Jerwood Foundation says it will establish Hastings in the 'string of pearls' of prestigious cultural attractions along the South Coast, which includes the Turner Contemporary at Margate, the Folkestone Triennial, the Towner in Eastbourne, De la Warr Pavilion at Bexhill and Pallant House at Chichester.

The Jerwood Gallery will showcase a vast collection of modern art Credit: ITV Meridian

Alan Grieve, Chairman of the Jerwood Foundation said: ''Hastings is linked with a number of artists featured in the collection. With its rich history and strong, ever-expanding artistic community we felt that Hastings was the perfect location for the Gallery.''

Hastings Council also believes the gallery marks an important stage in ongoing efforts to regenerate Hastings, a traditionally deprived area with high unemployment.

In recent months though ''No To Jerwood'' posters have been pinned to beach huts and neighbouring buildings. Opponents say the gallery is in the wrong place and could actually end up costing as much money as it brings in because it's been built on the site of a former coach park.

Opponents say the gallery will cost too much Credit: ITV Meridian

Ion Castro from the Save Our Stade campaign said: ''We were never against the idea of an art gallery as such, it's the location that's the problem and the effect on the area of the loss of coach parking so yes, we're still unhappy. The gallery will also cost Hastings £200,000 every year for the next 99 years in lost revenue as well as charging for admission and that too adds to our unhappiness.''

The council is overseeing a controversial redevelopment of the entire Stade area, including the creation of new open spaces and a cafe. The Stade houses Britain's biggest fleet of beach-launched fishing boats. The boats have to be hauled out of the sea after each trip, which stops them being more than about ten metres long. This means that they can only carry small amounts of gear and travel just a few miles. As a result the fleet has always fished in an ecologically sound way.

The gallery is part of a redevelopment of the entire Stad area Credit: ITV Meridian