Bexhill’s De La Warr Pavilion considering phased reopening

The director of Bexhill’s De La Warr Pavilion is considering a phased reopening of its outside terrace bar, café and galleries as restrictions ease slightly.

Stewart Drew, the director and chief executive of De La Warr Pavilion
Stewart Drew, the director and chief executive of De La Warr Pavilion

Stewart Drew, who is also chief executive of the venue, said his team has been working hard to rethink the De Le Warr Pavilion’s summer this year in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Cafés, bars and leisure facilities have been told they may be allowed to reopen from the beginning of July, but social distancing will have to be maintained.

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Mr Drew said: “Before we determine the Pavilion’s opening date, we will ensure that every part of the operation is Covid-secure and compliant with government standards of cleanliness and social distancing.

“We are considering an approach where the opening of our outside terrace bar, café bar and galleries would be phased, opening separate areas of the building when we are confident that our visitors and staff will be safe.

“The exhibitions Zadie Xa: Child of Maghalmi and the Echoes of Creation and Marc Bauer: Mal Être/ Performance will remain in the galleries until at least September to give everyone an opportunity to visit.”

Mr Drew said it would be ‘irresponsible’ to offer events involving lots of people gathering in one place.

As a result, the pavilion’s free community events such as the Sunset Screenings will not take place, neither will Bexhill Record Fair, Dubs at DLWP or Beach Beats.

These events have been reschedules for summer 2021 and tickets remain valid for the new dates.

Mr Drew added: “We would like to thank everyone for their continued support of DLWP during closure.

“As always, we had an amazing summer planned for our community and we are sorry to disappoint those of you who love to be outside and listen to live music, dance in the sun with a beer, or sit on your blankets with fish and chips to watch a film at sunset. If, as the weeks pass, we can see opportunities to run events safely, then we have plenty of ideas and can quickly bring them together.

“In 1935 DLWP was designed as a place to bring people together, inside and out and we will work hard to bring that back to you as soon as we can.

“But as we head into the autumn, it may be that the way the building operates and the programmes and services that we offer will look different to before. We will have to adapt to our situation, not in the least because of the dramatic loss of income incurred since closure.

“We are a charity and your support is needed now more than ever. You can help us do this by not asking for a refund on re-scheduled events, making a donation or becoming a member.

“And there are other ways you can help. Tickets are still available for some 2021 music and comedy events – take a look on our website – and we are open for bookings for weddings, conferences, celebrations and other events next year.

“And, of course, you can visit us when we re-open and buy the lunch, coffee and cakes that you have missed since we closed. We will do whatever it takes to make sure we all keep safe and you will be sure to receive a warm welcome.”