A bumper year at the De La Warr Pavilion helped to boost the town’s economy,according to the venue’s director.
Stewart Drew presented his annual report for April 2014 to April 2015 to Rother District Council on Monday evening.
Mr Drew, who is also the chief executive of the iconic venue, outlined the programme of activity throughout the year in the galleries, the auditorium and emphasised the key partnership with the Hastings and Rother Arts Education Network (HRAEN).
Out of 17 exhibitions in 12 months, highlights included Ladybird By Design – a record-breaking exhibition for the pavilion, with more than 54,000 visitors, national press coverage and a transfer to the House of Illustration in London.
Ivan Chermayeff’s Cut and Paste exhibition cemented the De La Warr’s association with Ivan, son of one of the pavilion’s original architects Serge Chermayeff, and leading graphic designer responsible for the Mobil, Pan Am and NBC logos, amongst many others.
Ivan has since designed the DLWP’s 80th anniversary logo and become an honorary patron of the pavilion.
The De La Warr has attracted headline music and comedy acts with 48,000 ticket buyers in 12 months over 120 evenings.
The venue has also produced 98 of its own productions and hosted 22 community shows. An investment from Arts Council England of £412,000 levered a total of £500,000 investment in the auditorium – the first for more than 20 years.
The DLWP has delivered more than 30 community events, including four exhibitions in the studio, sold 4,000 tickets to family shows and 5,000 to community events and school productions.
The pavilion’s learning and participation programme has seen more than 5,500 participants in workshops, courses and classes.
Meanwhile the DLWP has supported the attainment of 28 Arts Awards for young people, 20 through the Hastings and Rother Arts Education Network, of which the DLWP is a leading partner, working with most schools in Bexhill, Hastings and rural Rother.
Mr Drew said: “A door count of 390,000 visitors illustrates the extent of our contribution to the economy of Bexhill and Rother through secondary spend on food, drink and accommodation.
“We continue to work closely with local partners such as the Town Team, the South England Local Enterprise Partnership, Rother’s regeneration team and 1066 Country to name a few to remain a key play in the future of Bexhill and Rother.”
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