1. ITV Report

Can you put a price on art? Major gallery in Eastbourne has funding cut

Photo: ITV Meridian

It's the largest gallery in the south east outside London, but curators of The Towner in Eastbourne say its future is in doubt.

Its biggest backer, the local council, has announced plans to slash it's funding by a third - blaming the 'severe cuts' it's received from the Government.

However, the gallery fears it could be hit with further cuts, leaving it 50% worse off, within four years.

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The Towner Gallery has a one hundred year history and is the largest gallery in our region.

Currently Eastbourne Bourough Council, the Towner's biggest stakeholder, funds the gallery 600 thousand pounds a year. From next April that will drop by a third. Curators say it's exhibition and educational programmes would be the worst affected.

The gallery fearing another 100 thousand pounds taken by 2020.

Artwork at The Towner Gallery Credit: ITV Meridian
Cultural quarter undergoing 44 million pound investment Credit: ITV Meridian

With nearly 150,000 visitors a year, the gallery plays a central role in the cultural quarter of the town. It is currently undergoing a 44 million pound investment. For every pound spent on it, the Towner argues it generates two pounds for the local economy.

The council says that savings will help it spend an extra 200 thousand pounds tackling local homelessness.