Why arts and culture matter

Towner’s work makes a big impact to local people and the world at large. We believe that our vital work helps make the case for why arts and culture matter.

We contribute to a flourishing society, to education and to the local economy – and  these benefits are interdependent.

For instance, over 30,000 young people have participated in Towner’s learning and participation programmes and 7000 children and young people have had work exhibited in the galleries. As well as nurturing the next generation of artists, we’re improving children and young people’s educational attainment, confidence and leadership through schemes like Arts Award qualifications and supporting young people into their first jobs through creative apprenticeships.

In order for Towner to continue its award-winning work for future generations to enjoy, continued public funding of arts and culture is vital to the whole sector, giving confidence to sponsors and private investors. Arts and culture are relatively cheap to support, and bring big returns.

Funding the arts infrastructure throughout the country costs just 14p per person, per week –  equivalent to 0.7% of total government spending.

Award-winning art gallery

Towner’s 1,250 m sq of exhibition space is the largest in the South East and winner of four architecture awards.

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Philanthropic gifts

From a bequest of just 22 works in 1922 by Alderman John Chisholm Towner, Towner has a 4,500-strong Collection housed in its permanent gallery and attracts over 120,000 visitors each year.

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Showcasing regional talent

Over 150 regional artists have been exhibited in the East Sussex Open in the past six years, which last year attracted 30,000 visitors over 10 weeks. This year’s East Sussex Open had a record number of applicants and will show work by 44 artists, the highest number ever.

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Towner & the Local Economy

Towner generates a return of £2.10 local economic benefit for each £1 of public investment while combined supply-chain and induced spending generates over £940,000 of economic benefit in the local area each year, as of 2015, according to Tate Plus network publication (2009)

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To learn more about why arts and culture matter, have a look at Arts Council England’s Culture Matters page, which sets out the case from a national perspective or watch their 2013 film, A Credit to Britain

Infographics by Billy Mather