Bexhill’s De La Warr Pavilion receives ‘critical’ cash boost

The De La Warr Pavilion has been awarded £325,000 from the second round of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund to help the organisation plan its post-Covid recovery and re-opening next month (May).

The most common place people arrived in the area from was Rother, with 1,082 arrivals in the year to June 2019. Pictured, Bexhill seafront
The most common place people arrived in the area from was Rother, with 1,082 arrivals in the year to June 2019. Pictured, Bexhill seafront

The DLWP has described the award as “critical” to support the reopening of the site, post-lockdown, and relaunching the Pavilion’s cultural programmes.

The funding will support core overheads to keep the organisation running, protect jobs, allow for the resumption of exhibition, learning and live programmes and supporting delivery of events outside.

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The money will also help to fund urgent, delayed maintenance of the Grade I listed building, including repairing the badly-leaking auditorium roof.

The award, alongside others from national and local government bodies, trusts, foundations and individual donations ensures that the Pavilion can open in May.

Stewart Drew, director and CEO of the De La Warr Pavilion said: “Thank you to DCMS and Arts Council England for their continued support which is crucial for us to be able to rebuild the organisation as we open back up for the summer.

“We will continue to serve our community in providing culture and entertainment to help everyone emerge from the long winter lockdown and we will also work hard to reboot the visitor economy to help support our town, local businesses and the wider regional visitor economy.

“I would also like to thank Rother District Council for their ongoing support and vision; providing stability in their funding.

“Lastly, we would like to thank all our supporters and funders, including our patrons, members and those who have supported us by buying tickets for events, making donations and for being patient with us as we navigate the pandemic.

“We so look forward to welcoming you all back this summer!”

Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, said: “Our record breaking Culture Recovery Fund has already helped thousands of culture and heritage organisations across the country survive the biggest crisis they’ve ever faced.

“Now we’re staying by their side as they prepare to welcome the public back through their doors – helping our cultural gems plan for reopening and thrive in the better times ahead.”

Huw Merriman, MP for Bexhill and Battle said: “I am delighted to have supported this successful bid to the Cultural Recovery Fund for the De La Warr Pavilion.

“This has been an incredibly hard year for all those in the cultural and leisure sector. In the limited time last year when venues were allowed to open with social-distancing in place, the Pavilion made sure that it welcomed the public back and ran a strategy to bring as many people back to work as possible. They were one of the few local cultural venues to have done so.

“This funding is critical to the Pavilion and I know they are looking forward to reopening and resuming their key role in enriching our lives and communities as well as supporting local livelihoods and businesses.”

Sir Nicholas Serota, chair of the Arts Council England, said: “Investing in a thriving cultural sector at the heart of communities is a vital part of helping the whole country to recover from the pandemic.

“These grants will help to reopen theatres, concert halls, and museums and will give artists and companies the opportunity to begin making new work.

“We are grateful to the Government for this support and for recognising the paramount importance of culture to our sense of belonging and identity as individuals and as a society.”

The De La Warr is planning a phased reopening, in accordance to the Government’s roadmap to easing lockdown.

On the weekends of May 1-3, 7-9 and 14-16, the ground floor of DLWP will be open for the shop and Music’s Not Dead, Bexhill’s independent record store. The terrace bar, serving drinks and snacks, will also be open.

The whole building will reopen on Wednesday May 19, including the galleries and Café Bar. There will be no need to book for general admission, but visitors will need to sign in to support NHS test and trace. Learning activities will continue online.

Live events, including music and comedy, will also resume inside and outside the Pavilion from this date. Ticket holders will be notified by email of any changes of date or timings.

All dates are subject to change, according to Government announcements and restrictions. Keep an eye on the De La Warr Pavilion website at