Plans have been revealed for a new culture and education center within the grounds of the South Downs National Park in Sussex.

The planning application for Black Robin Farm follows Eastbourne Borough Council’s successful £19.8 million bid to the government’s Levelling Up Fund.

Art gallery Towner Eastbourne and the council have worked in partnership to create the plans for Black Robin Farm, alongside a design scheme from architects Feilden Fowles.

The scheme is a retrofit and refurbishment of a historic nineteenth century dairy farm, and the extension of the campus to include a new 690m2 flexible art gallery and 700m2 events space.

The new venue is hoped to host 100,000 visitors annually within five years, offering the “cultural heritage of the rolling chalk downland through public artworks in the landscape, exhibitions, creative activities and courses, artist and maker events”.

Art Fund – Going Places – Oct 2023
Image: A gallery design for Black Robin Farm (Finian Reece-Thomas, Feilden Fowles)

The new location is also hoped to provide artists opportunities through commissions, residencies, showcasing and workspace.

East Sussex College, another partner in the project, is set to deliver qualifications and skills training for young adults to support career development in the creative, leisure and tourism sectors from the new location.

Joe Hill, CEO and Director of Towner Eastbourne, said the project is hoped to provide “genuinely inclusive access to art and culture through artist commissions and other professional development opportunities, skills development initiatives and creative engagement programmes for children and adults; especially those from Eastbourne’s most disadvantaged communities.”

Back to top