The recently opened Jerwood Gallery in Hastings is part of the Jerwood Foundation, an organisation that has been created to house their collection of modern British Art. It has been built on the Stade, part of Hastings Old Town. The square in the foreground is used for special events such as the Seafood & Wine Festival, and the redevelopment included a new cafeteria and public toilets.
This site was previously a coach and lorry park, pictures of which can be seen here.
There was a determined campaign to prevent the construction of the Jerwood Gallery on the Stade. All of the arguments against it are outlined on this website. The core of the argument appears to be that the removal of the coaches from the old town would impact on the numbers of tourists visiting the area. It’s argued that the gallery could have been built in a different part of the town.
The council were determined to have their way however though. It’s likely that if they had suggested a different site for the gallery the Jerwood Foundation would have pulled out of the deal and gone elsewhere. It is a prime location after all and the other suggested sites were well outside of the areas of town that tourists normally visit.
I think that the gallery and it’s surrounds are a far better use for the land than a bus park. It adds an additional attraction to the area and may even draw in a new audience of people. The council have set aside coach drop off points near to the Stade, and provided parking for the coaches a couple of miles away, which seems a reasonable solution to me.Â As for the building itself, I reckon that it fits in nicely with the surroundings, and the hand made ceramic tiles are particularly attractive. I haven’t been inside yet though.
I guess time will tell what economic effects of this redevelopment will have. Hastings needs all the income it can get at it is in the top 20 of the most deprived areas in England, so hopefully the impact will be a positive one. For some other interesting opinions and photographs on the Jerwood Gallery from people who visit Hastings I recommend this blog article by Sideways14 and this article in the Guardian. If anyone wants to add their own opinion, please do so below!