Bexhill’s De La Warr Pavilion welcomes ‘much needed’ cash injection

The director of Bexhill’s De La Warr Pavilion has welcomed the government’s £1.57bn emergency support package to help protect the entertainment and arts industry.

Stewart Drew, director and CEO at the De La Warr Pavilion
Stewart Drew, director and CEO at the De La Warr Pavilion

The cash injection was announced on Monday following several weeks of pressure from industry leaders who warned that many local venues were on the brink of collapse without financial support.

Stewart Drew, director and chief executive of the De La Warr Pavilion, said: “Monday’s announcement was an extremely welcome injection of much needed cash into the cultural sector, worth £32 billion per year to the UK economy. In this region, music tourism alone brings in £244m and the visitor economy (including museums, galleries and heritage sites) is worth £557m in 1066 Country alone. This support is, in particular, a critical lifeline to theatres and live music venues that cannot open within current government guidelines.

“We would like to thank in particular the Pavilion’s Chair Julian Bird (CEO of the Society of London Theatre) who, as one the leading advocates for the industry and the 680,000 people employed in it, has helped to secure this unprecedented amount of money.”

The De La Warr Pavilion closed in March due to the coronavirus pandemic and, according to council papers, the pavilion expects to lose £1.1m of income in the 2020/21 financial year, mainly as a result of the lockdown preventing its live events programme from going ahead.

At a virtual meeting, Rother District Council’s cabinet agreed to draw a £350,000 loan from reserves to provide an urgent support package to help the arts centre survive the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The De La Warr Pavilion – alongside Brighton Dome and Festival and Hastings Contemporary – is also among the beneficiaries of the Arts Council’s £2.9 million investment in 20 of its regularly funded National Portfolio Organisations (NPOs) across the east and south-east of England, which was announced earlier this week.

The pavilion will receive £375,000 from the Emergency Response Fund, with the Brighton Dome receiving £445,000, and Hastings Contemporary £67,013.