Volunteer drivers needed for new Sussex art shuttle bus

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Cuckmere Buses is currently recruiting new volunteer drivers for a new hop-on-hop-off minibus that will link Towner Eastbourne, Charleston, Seven Sisters Country Park and Charleston’s new arts space in central Lewes every weekend from 15 September 2023.

Supported by Visit Lewes, the Sussex Art Shuttle is the first of its kind in the region, allowing visitors to Turner Prize 2023 at Towner Eastbourne to easily explore some of the area’s other major attractions and exhibitions during the Sussex cultural season. Business-led tourism consortium, Sussex Modern, is promoting the initiative.

The service will set off four times a day (Fri - Sun) from Towner Eastbourne, reaching Charleston and Lewes in under an hour. The Star at Alfriston, the Long Man Brewery, Cadence Cycle Club, Rathfinny Wine Estate and spectacular South Downs beauty spots are all accessible along the way, bringing the full Sussex experience to life and allowing visitors to Eastbourne to easily explore the wider region in a day or two.

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September is also ‘Catch the Bus’ month, a campaign run by charity Bus Users UK to encourage more people than ever to ‘get on board’ in rural areas, making the most of bus services on offer to access services and attractions, whilst supporting the use of more sustainable modes of transport.

Sussex Art Shuttle Bus outside Charleston in FirleSussex Art Shuttle Bus outside Charleston in Firle
Sussex Art Shuttle Bus outside Charleston in Firle

Cuckmere Buses, Managing Director, Philip Ayers commented: “We are extremely excited to be introducing this new service, which will no doubt be very popular. We are looking for more drivers to join our existing team of volunteers, most of whom have been with us for years. Our drivers enjoy the support our services offer people, as well as the social aspect of meeting our bus users. To drive the bus that showcases the best arts and cultural locations as well as heritage destinations this area has to offer, connected by one of the most scenic roads in the South East, would be a real privilege and hugely enjoyable.”

Turner Prize 2023 opens at Towner Eastbourne on 28 September, featuring the works of the four shortlisted artists – Jesse Darling, Ghislaine Leung, Rory Pilgrim and Barbara Walker. At the same time, nearby Charleston – the former country home of Bloomsbury artists Duncan Grant and Vanessa Bell – presents ‘David Hockney: Love Life’, featuring rarely-seen early drawings by one of the most popular and recognisable artists of our time. September will also see Charleston launch a brand new location in central Lewes, with a major exhibition exploring the fashion of the Bloomsbury group.

Joe Hill, Director and CEO, Towner Eastbourne, said: “We are delighted that we can work with our partners across Sussex to connect all of these exciting cultural moments at a time when Towner Eastbourne will be hosting the Turner Prize. It’s a fantastic opportunity to explore the wider region and see some of the best culture Sussex has to offer this season.”

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Nathaniel Hepburn, Director, Charleston, commented: “The Sussex Art Shuttle opens up new possibilities for visitors to experience the rich cultural landscape of our region and we are delighted to launch it in time for visitors to experience three of the biggest exhibitions in Sussex; Bring No Clothes: Bloomsbury and Fashion in Lewes, David Hockney at Charleston in Firle and of course the Turner Prize in Eastbourne. Visitors will now have a seamless way to experience these exhibitions and see the beautiful landscape in between.”

Sussex Art Shuttle outside Towner EastbourneSussex Art Shuttle outside Towner Eastbourne
Sussex Art Shuttle outside Towner Eastbourne

Trevor Beattie, Chief Executive of the South Downs National Park Authority, said: “The South Downs National Park has many world-class arts and heritage destinations on the doorstep of Seven Sisters and it’s great news that they are being connected by a sustainable transport route for the Turner Prize season.

“A day-out in the countryside by bus can be a real family adventure, helping the environment and removing the stress of trying to find a parking space. This new bus service is a great way to explore the National Park this autumn and discover its incredible landscape, natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage.”

For more information on Cuckmere Buses, please visit cuckmerebuses.org.uk