Jersey's Harbour Gallery forced to find new home
Jersey's Harbour Gallery will soon have to shut up shop in St Aubin.
The landlord of the site has decided to redevelop the property, meaning the gallery will have to look for a new home once their lease ends in January 2023.
A spokesperson for the Harbour Gallery said: "Although we would hate to lose The Harbour Gallery in its current location, having worked successfully with our landlord for the last 20 years, surviving many events, the most recently being Covid."
The Harbour Gallery has been home to several local artists for two decades.
Sheila Birch is a photographer and has been exhibiting her work at the gallery for 15 years.
"I sell my work here and it gives me a chance to show people my work. I love Jersey, I'm a Jersey girl, I was born in Jersey and I love photographing the Island.
"There is a different picture around every corner. Take Corbiere for instance, Corbiere is always Corbiere but every minute of every day, there is a different light."
The news that the landlord has lodged plans to transform the gallery into a gym has come as a worry to local artists, says Harbour Gallery manager, Pat Robson.
"The artists are actually very worried because they have got nowhere else to exhibit and some of them rely on this like a part-time wage and it's really important to them. So that's the big worry if we do have to go from here we will have to try and find somewhere else."
Bruno Francisco from Waddington Architects, speaking on behalf of the landlord, explained the lease was supposed to end two years ago, as the tenant was planning to retire, but then she decided to stay and it was subsequently extended. The landlord understood from the tenant it was to be the last extension.
He said: "The change in use does not affect the café and it is seeking to provide adjacent wellness facilities for the local residents in St Aubin and supporting tourism facilities that lack these within the hotels and guest houses in the area.
It was revealed by the developers that there had previously been plans to use the site as a wellness centre prior to the Harbour Gallery occupying the site 20 years ago, with the landlord now wanting to "revert the site back to the former permitted use".
The Harbour Gallery will continue to hold a full program of events in St Aubin for the rest of the year, up until the end of their lease in January 2023.