Announcement: Reopening 22 July

Posted on 26/06/2020

We are delighted to announce that we will be reopening our doors on 22 July, with carefully planned social distancing measures and safety measures in place.

If you, or a member of your household, have experienced any COVID-19 symptoms within the past 14 days, please do not visit the gallery.

Our revised opening times until the end of August will be 10.00am to 5.00pm from Wednesday to Sunday, as well as Bank Holiday Monday 31 August. We will be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Exhibitions you can experience as we open include Alan Davie & David Hockney: Early Works and BRINK: Caroline Lucas curates the Towner Collection. Also on show is a moving image installation recently acquired into the Towner Collection, Lawrence Abu Hamdan: This whole time there were no landmines. The Ravilious Gallery will also be open, although without access to the books in our Collection Library.

Lothar Götz’s large-scale mural, Dance Diagonal, spans the entire outside of the gallery and is available to enjoy 24 hours a day, every day!

We are also pleased to offer free priority admission for NHS and care staff, plus one guest, to our ticketed exhibition, Alan Davie & David Hockney: Early Works (please bring suitable evidence).

Ahead of your visit, please familiarise yourself with our updated visitor information:
  • To allow social distancing, we will be limiting the number of visitors allowed into each exhibition space and also into the building itself. You may be asked to wait for short periods during busy times. You may wish to consider visiting at start and end of days when the gallery will likely be quieter.
  • Tickets for our ticketed exhibition Alan Davie & David Hockney: Early Works can either be purchased online or in the gallery from the Welcome Desk. In the event of queues, visitors who have booked tickets in advance online will receive priority admission so we recommend this method.
  • Our free exhibitions BRINK: Caroline Lucas curates the Towner Collection and Lawrence Abu Hamdan: This whole time there were no landmines do not require advance booking, but you may be asked to queue for a short while if we are at the capacity limit in these gallery spaces.
  • Our toilets will be open with enhanced cleaning and reduced capacity. Our taps and soap dispensers are touch-free. Please wash hands thoroughly as per guidelines.
  • Our bright and airy top floor café will be open from 10.00am to 4.30pm serving a light menu drinks and sweet and savoury snacks, using disposable (fully compostable) serveware. Our capacity has been reduced to allow for social distancing and there is also seating on our balcony in good weather. To avoid any congestion at our counter, visitors should find a vacant table and a member of the café team will come and take your order and payment.
  • Our gift shop will be open – please use the provided hand sanitiser before browsing and keep touching of shop items to a minimum.
  • We are not currently accepting cash payments, so please be prepared to pay by card in our shop and takeaway café. Contactless payments are preferred where possible.
  • Our cloakroom, sensory space and library will remain closed for the time being.
  • Visitors are required by government guidelines to wear masks to enter the gallery.   
  • Hygiene screens have been installed at the Welcome Desk and all visitors into the building will be asked to use the hand sanitisation station on entry to the building. Further sanitisation points will be available throughout the building.
  • Throughout your visit, please maintain a safe distance from other visitors and staff and refrain from touching surfaces. Floor markings will be in place to support this.
  • Please assist with social distancing by keeping to your left as you move through the building.
  • Staff will be on hand throughout your visit to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable visit.

Joe Hill, Director, said, “During these times, as we get used to the ‘new normal’, I am pleased we are able to open again – now more than ever our communities need art and culture. As a team, we have missed being in the building and welcoming audiences from across Eastbourne as well as further afield and are excited to see many of you again this summer. For those who are still shielding, we have lots of digital content in-store to be enjoyed from home, including behind-the-scenes studio visits and special insights into our Collection soon to be released.”

We aim to reopen the Towner Cinema in the autumn. In the meantime, we are sharing a programme of carefully curated online film content for cinema fans via Towner’s website, social media channels and new-look Towner Cinema newsletter.

Our series of free artist-led Live Making Workshops continues on our @Hello_Towner Instagram account every Thursday at 2.00pm, with downloadable illustrated guides and recordings of all previous workshops available on our website for everyone to enjoy in their own time.


We are awaiting further guidance from the Government relating to the NHS Test and Trace service and how this might work in the context of a free-entry gallery. We will update our website and FAQs when more details are known.