Bexhill: Next stage of major De La Warr Pavilion and Sidley community hub works revealed

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The next stage of major works for the De La Warr Pavilion (DLWP) and new community facilities for Sidley have been revealed this week.

Last year, Bexhill and Sidley were awarded more than £19 million by central government from its Levelling Up Fund to help transform the DLWP and create a community hub in Sidley.

The DLWP was awarded £17 million towards a larger project which it said it still has to fundraise for. It said the money will be used to improve and make visitor facilities more accessible, open up and add to the existing learning and community facilities and spaces, open up spaces for commercial conferences and events to support businesses, refurbish key spaces such as the auditorium and technical facilities and improve the galleries, as well address continuing issues with some of the most vulnerable and historically significant parts of the DLWP, such as the south staircase window

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Sidley was awarded the remaining £2 million, which will be used to build a community hub at Sidley Recreation Ground, which will include a café, changing places facilities, sports changing rooms and improvements to the outside area.

The De La Warr PavilionThe De La Warr Pavilion
The De La Warr Pavilion

This week, it was announced that two architectural companies have been appointed for the Bexhill and Sidley Levelling Up Capital Projects. They are Haworth Tompkins for the DLWP and Baker Architectural for the new Sidley Community Hub.

Stewart Drew, director and CEO of the DLWP, said: “We couldn’t be more excited to have such a considered, thoughtful and innovative conservation-based architectural practice as Haworth Tompkins committed to securing and transforming our Grade 1 Listed building into a place for creativity, community and skills.

“Haworth Tompkins, along with a team of leading experts in their field, will ensure that the pavilion can continue to deliver culture-led regeneration for the region, positively impacting on some of the highest areas of deprivation in the southeast. In our improved spaces, we will continue to offer culture, entertainment, learning, and social interaction all in one place whilst remaining a viable, sustainable and relevant part of our community for many years to come.”

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A statement from The Heart of Sidley Community Partnership said: “The tireless efforts of our community association stand as a beacon of pride, dedicated to providing a nurturing home and vibrant hub for our neighbourhood.

De La Warr Pavilion, BexhillDe La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill
De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill

“With unwavering commitment, we are excited to provide essential facilities that enrich the social fabric and enhance the well-being for all in Sidley. From recreational spaces to educational resources, a new café and sporting facilities, this project will foster a sense of belonging and unity.”

Cllr Doug Oliver, Rother District Council leader, said: “These projects will make a huge difference to the district, and I am delighted that they are moving forward with the appointment of design teams. Whilst there is still some way to go for both projects, I look forward to seeing them progress and help transform our communities.

“We are confident that the investment by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and other funders will improve the lives of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged communities.”

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