The Stade and the Jerwood Gallery:
frequently asked questions
The red and black text are Hastings Boro' Council's response. Our unanswered questions and observations are included in green. The fact is that removal of the coaches from the Stade Coach Park would cause more problems than it would solve (what about the lorries? ) and there's no evidence that the revenue shortfall caused by their removal would be made up by the proposed gallery. Hastings Borough Council spent £1600 on a two page advert in the Hastings Observer 7th November 2008 NOT answering these questions. The advert was later found to be in breach of Advertising Standards guidelines - click here.
1. What is happening with Jerwood and the Stade?
Hastings Borough Council (HBC), East Sussex County Council (ESCC) and the Jerwood Foundation are working together to transform the beachfront Stade coach and lorry park into a fantastic new public space for events, festivals and informal use, alongside a nationally significant new art gallery and community facilities. This is an exciting vision that already has strong local support and will bring huge benefits to Hastings and St Leonards. Jerwood aren't paying for ANY of this (apart from the Gallery and that's provided that they get the land free and don't have to pay Council Tax or business rates ) - it could all go ahead without them and provide even more open space for even more events and STILL provide caach & lorry parking.
2. Who are the Jerwood Foundation?
The Jerwood Foundation is one of the leading private arts foundations based in Leichtenstein and has invested in excess of £75m into the arts since 1991. Their website www.jerwood.org gives full information about the Foundation's work. The foundation is not a charity.
3. Why does Jerwood want to build a gallery?
The Jerwood Foundation has built up a substantial collection of 20th and 21st century British art that has never before been shown to the public. It wants to build a £4m gallery to house this collection and to show temporary exhibitions as part of the Jerwood Visual Arts programme which supports and showcases the best emerging artists working in the UK. The Jerwood Foundation sees the arts as part of education in the widest sense, and wants to create a public facility that will benefit local communities and enable access to art and culture of the highest quality. There is no proposal to exhibit the work of local artists.
4. Why does Jerwood want to come to Hastings?
Jerwood wanted to site their new gallery in a regional centre that has deprived communities and is undergoing regeneration, in order that the benefit of the new gallery would be maximized. Jerwood also wanted to create links to a strong local arts community. Hastings has been chosen as Jerwood's preferred location as it offers exceptional potential to meet these aims, and an inspirational site at the Stade. And it's the cheapest site available and Jerwood needs a warehouse to store the art that's not on display.
5. Why the Stade and not some other site in Hastings?
Hastings Borough Council and many local people have felt for some time that a coach and lorry park is the wrong use for such an important historic site in the heart of the Old Town. The long-term vision of the council for a new public space at the Stade was an excellent fit with what Jerwood was looking for - a sympathetic central location, easily accessible on foot from where? and by public transport from where?. No other site offered such potential That's simply not true and, if the Stade were not progressed, Jerwood would go to another town, not another location in Hastings. Would that really be such a loss?
6. What else will happen on the site?
The gallery will only take up a small part of the site and the rest will be transformed into a fantastic new public space for events, new toilets, community cafe, and new community facilities in the refurbished Angling Club building. The new public space is as important as the gallery and will be designed to the highest standards. The project also includes redesigning the streets around the site to calm traffic, improve safety and provide wider pavements. Jerwood aren't paying a penny for anything on the rest of the site, we, the council tax payers of Hastings are, and we could pay for all of this whether or not Jerwood were there or not. We could have an even bigger and better space if Jerwood weren't there AND have space to park coaches.
7. What will happen to the coaches? - we (the Council) are ignoring the lorries.
Eight coach bays for setting down and picking up passengers will continue to be sited on the Stade, so there will be no loss of footfall to the Old Town. These bays will be used for overnight parking and will remove at least 20 residents' car parking spaces (based on one coach = 2.5 cars) but HBC and ESCC are planning to create much more coach parking elsewhere (at Sea Road and Falaise Road in St Leonards.) in the town, and consultation is already underway with coach operators and local student organisations. The options for coach parking and turning will be exhibited from November 6-11 for public consultation and we welcome feedback. Once again the 'consultation' document was heavily biased towards what the council wants. The latest proposal is to create 8 coach bays on the northern side of the seafront. This wall of coaches will block views out from the restaurants, pubs and cafes and views of this picturesque part of the old town from the stade, beach etc. etc.
8. How much will it cost and who is paying?
The Jerwood Foundation is covering all the costs of designing, building and running the art gallery in perpetuity. Hastings Borough Council has already secured funding from East Sussex County Council for over £300,000 towards the cost of the transport improvements - improvements? is increasing heavy traffic up the Bourne and back down again an improvement?, and another £650,000 from SEEDA (South East England Development Agency). We have just submitted a bid for £3.5m to central government for the Sea Change Fund, specifically designed to help regenerate seaside resorts. Hastings Borough Council is contributing £1m towards the capital cost of the project. Is converting a quiet, popular road in a residential area in St Leonards (Sea Road) an improvement?
9. I'm not interested in art, how will this benefit people like me?
Independent research by whom? has estimated that this project will create over 100 jobs and generate around £10m per year in the local economy where do these figures come from?, so this will help the whole community. It will also create educational opportunities for our children and young people, and the new public space will enable events of all sorts, from festivals to markets, music performances, Bonfire and Jack-in-the-Green, Bonfire & Jack-in-the-Green were happening long before most people in Hastings had ever heard of Jerwood. as well as informal use by local families. Hastings is the second most deprived seaside resort in the country, and the most deprived town in the south east. It may look pretty, but the town does have problems, and this investment will really help to change this.
10. What will happen to the Seafood & Wine Festival?
The point of the project is to ensure that events like the Seafood & Wine Festival can continue by creating a purposely designed public space that can be used all year round for events. This would include existing favourites such as the award-winning Seafood & Wine Festival, the Classic Car Show, and the '999' event, and new events such a concerts, open air theatre, outdoor film shows, markets, perhaps even a Christmas market and ice-skating. Remember, Jerwood aren't paying for any of this and it could be achieved without the gallery, and there would be more space without the gallery AND coaches etc could continue to park and bring revenue to the Old Town.
11. What about Tom's Cabin?
The options in the public exhibition and consultation in May included both keeping and replacing Tom's Cabin. However, the preferred option of those who responded, and also the preferred option of Hastings Borough Council, is to replace it with a high quality family café, with kitchens large enough to service the large open area we are creating too. This option also maximises the open space available, something most people were very keen to see. Would local people be able to afford this? Hastings is the second most deprived seaside resort in the country, and the most deprived town in the south east.
12. What about community facilities?
Better community facilities have been asked for in every consultation we have carried out in the Old Town. Originally we had intended to provide a new building for these, but, during the summer, the East Hastings Sea Angling Association offered to work with us to see if their facilities could be used. Initial feedback on this was positive, and detailed work is now underway to see how this might work in practice.
13. What about the Fishing Beach?
Rumours that the Council want to build on the fishing beach are completely wrong and in fact, part of this project is to upgrade the facilities for the fishing fleet and community, including the Winch Road and parking. We have been working closely with the fishermen on this - the town's fishing heritage is as important to visitors as it is to the people who work there, and there is absolutely no way the Council would want to destroy that. 83% of the fishing boat owners and boys ashore don't want the gallery on the Stade.
14. Will the open space be open for ever?
Jerwood and Hastings Borough Council are keen to see the open space we are creating kept open, there is absolutely no intention now, or in the future, to build upon it. Indeed, this will be built into the legal agreement that will enable the site to be developed. But who will own the site?
15. I thought the Foreshore Trust own the site. What do they think?
The Foreshore Trust own part of the site and are fully in favour of the proposals. They have been involved from the earliest stages and think that the project shows clear benefits for the local community and the fishing community.
16. Why will the gallery charge for admission? We thought it would be free.
Jerwood had indeed hoped that admission would be free. But they have now been advised that, like most public or charitable art galleries, they have to charge for entrance in order to recover VAT. However, Hastings residents will get reduced price admission, and all money collected from local residents will be used to help fund 'outreach' work to benefit the local community. Many well-known art galleries, including Tate St Ives, charge for entrance but are still much-loved by the local community who see significant benefits. We'd love to see the VAT regulation that says that.
17. Why haven't I been asked for my opinion?
We are sorry if you feel that you have not been asked to comment. We have tried our best to publicise the proposals and held a public exhibition in May, advertised with a double page spread in the Hastings Observer, leaflets distributed throughout the Old Town the day before the 'consultation', and on local radio. At this consultation, 89 % of respondents supported the principle of locating the Jerwood Gallery on the Stade and 60 % supported the masterplan option that is now being developed. Local groups including residents, 17% of fishermen, local businesses, the arts community, and many others have been involved in an Advisory Group on the project all the way through and have contributed to the plans. We know that we can't reach everyone but we are trying our best and further consultations are planned (see below). Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or comments. We have in our possession a petition circulated in the Old Town against siting the gallery on the Stade with 660 signatures. A questionnaire of businesses and traders in the Old Town showed 82% against and, most damning of all, 83% of fishing boat owners and boys-ashore don't want Jerwood on the Stade.
18. What is happening now and how can I comment?
The Jerwood Foundation are consulting extensively with local groups on the gallery and hope to submit a planning application in January 2009 when there will be another public exhibition where everyone can comment on the design proposals for the gallery, the public space and community facilities. We hope to hear whether our funding bid to central government is successful by February and the planning application for the public space will be submitted around March. If the plans for the project are approved by councillors, we aim to open the gallery and public space in June 2011. Please contact email@example.com if you want to make sure you are informed of the consultations. "There's nothing you can do about it, it's going through" - Peter Pragnell, Leader of Hastings Borough Council.
19. Will this project really happen?
The Jerwood Foundation has all its funding in place and is fully committed to the project. Hastings Borough Council is also fully committed and even if the Sea Change funding bid is unsuccessful, we have already secured significant funding and are working on alternative plans that would still enable the new public space and facilities to be built, as this is part of the partnership agreement with Jerwood. "There's nothing you can do about it, it's going through" - Peter Pragnell, Leader of Hastings Borough Council.