Colonnade House to become more accessible and sustainable

Released: Tuesday, 09 July 2024

Worthing’s Colonnade House art gallery and creative studio space is to be transformed into a more accessible, sustainable building.

Since opening in 2016, Colonnade House has hosted hundreds of creatives from across the region and provided a space where people can connect, collaborate and be inspired.

The creative space in Warwick Street is owned by Worthing Borough Council, which we manage in partnership with Adur & Worthing Trust, a charity that promotes arts, culture and heritage across the area.

Photo: Colonnade House, Worthing (credit - Jim Stephenson)

PR24-054 - Colonnade House, Worthing (credit - Jim Stephenson)

Originally built in the early 1800s as a library and post office, the building was reborn as a creative hub following our successful application to the government’s Coastal Communities Fund in 2014.

Today Colonnade House is at full capacity, with two gallery spaces, ten studios and a programme of activity filled with gifted and exciting individuals. However, the facility is in need of investment to ensure it remains safe, fit for purpose and can continue to serve the cultural community.

Photo: Weaver and textile designer Lucy Rowan at Colonnade House

PR24-054 - Weaver and textile designer Lucy Rowan at Colonnade House

We will upgrade the building with the help of a grant of more than £460,000 from Arts Council England. We will also contribute more than £40,000 to the project.

The plans include repairs to the roof, the creation of an accessible entrance system and redesigning the building’s exterior to include a composting area and green space. A host of sustainable measures are also included, such as installing solar panels and triple glazing, and replacing the current heating system with ground source heat pumps.

Cllr Rita Garner, Worthing’s cabinet member for culture and leisure, said:

“It’s fantastic that Colonnade House has been recognised and rewarded by Arts Council England for its huge contribution to local creatives and supporting the town’s economy.

“Colonnade House has continued to serve the creative community each year, and this funding will allow us to make some important changes to improve accessibility and ensure the historic building has a sustainable future.

“I’d like to thank Arts Council England for rewarding our application and supporting the wealth of creative talent in and around Worthing.”

Hazel Edwards, South East Area Director, Arts Council England, said:

“Through this Capital Investment Programme, we are bolstering cultural investment in communities throughout the South East.

“By enhancing the infrastructure of cultural spaces across the region we are expanding access to arts, culture, and creative pursuits. We are also supporting cultural organisations in becoming more inclusive, reducing their carbon footprint, and enhancing their digital capabilities.

“We are delighted that together, we can nurture a more vibrant and accessible cultural landscape for all.”

Karen Simporis, Chair of the Adur & Worthing Trust, said:

“It’s great news that Arts Council England has awarded the council a substantial capital grant to refurbish Colonnade House - an award which will secure its future as the cultural hub of Worthing.”

The project to transform Colonnade House is due to begin in Summer 2025 and is expected to be complete by Spring 2026. It’s hoped the works will cause minimal disruption so creatives can continue using the gallery and studio space during the upgrade.

To find out more on Colonnade House, its upcoming events and exhibitions and renting a studio, visit:

Photo: Illustrator and author John Bond at Colonnade House 

PR24-054 - Illustrator and author John Bond at Colonnade House

(PR24-054)

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Page last updated: 16 July 2024

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