The Towner Eastbourne website might seem like a strange place to talk about Newhaven’s cultural offer but ‘Ravilious, Bawden and Piper all loved the place’, and the gallery owns a rich collection of portrayals of the town’s landscape, so the connection is real.
My role as Newhaven’s Creative Producer is the latest link, and I’m working with the Towner and the Newhaven Enterprise Zone to support the continued development of the town’s blossoming creative community. If you haven’t visited yet, why not give it a try?
There’s a brand new events and hospitality space, The Sidings, tucked into a yard between the swing bridge and the UTC building. It is currently the home to a superb café with outdoor decking space and various community facilities. The Sidings also features a large open ‘Community Courtyard’ which we aim to fill with activities and events soon.
Newhaven’s cultural calendar already features a festival, artist open-call, and a number of artist opening their studios for Artwave. The town’s creatives, performers and artists have big plans to develop their work over the next few years. There’s a sense of heightened expectation marked by a clamour for more artist spaces and a real desire to make things happen.
I’ve seen from my work with Emerge Festival, Museums at Night and Brighton Fringe that a little bit of support can go a long way in helping people to maximise their creative potential. Reframing the narrative is vital too. The town’s position - as a pathway between the Downs and the mouth of the Ouse, and a gateway to the continent - is central to the Newhaven Story and a burgeoning asset to build on.
As the south coast develops its world-class cultural offer, expect Newhaven to make a considerable contribution over the coming months and years, and rest assured that the unalloyed appeal that has attracted artists for decades will remain intact.
- Nick Stockman, Newhaven Creative Producer