Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 23°C

min temp: 16°C

ESTD 1874 Search

The pigs have arrived. See the latest

Pigs Gone Wild

news here.

Colchester: New director of art venue outlines his plans for Firstsite

12:00 20 February 2013

Matthew Rowe - new director at Firstsite in Colchester

Matthew Rowe - new director at Firstsite in Colchester

Archant

THE NEW director of Essex’s premier arts venue has spoken of his plans for developing the location.

Matthew Rowe took up his role at Colchester’s Firstsite earlier this month having moved from a similar post at the Towner, an art museum in Eastbourne, East Sussex. And the 43-year old believes his experiences on the south coast will stand him in good stead with the challenges he faces in Essex.

He said; “The two venues share a lot in common. Both are capital projects which have been developed to improve access to the arts and boost public learning.

“The Towner opened in 2009, so I have three-and-half years of experience of seeing the organisation develop from the honeymoon period of its first year through to a period of building loyalty and growing audiences.”

And with the £25 million Firstsite building having opened its doors in September 2011, it is the latter challenge that Mr Rowe has to focus on in his new post.

He says his initial approach will be to listen to stakeholders and members of the public to see “what we do well and what we don’t.”

He added; “Firstsite has great strengths: it has a long programme of working with people and showing contemporary exhibitions. The architecture of the bulding is also excellent. But at the moment these are seen as separate entities and I want to develop more of a consistent brand.”

Other areas Mr Rowe has in his sights include encouraging more creative businesses to start up in Colchester through Firstsite’s management of its “creative hub” 15 Queen Street. He also wants to build up the retail and catering offerings in the centre, so it becomes a destination for shoppers and diners alike. Another priority is to attract private funding to the venue and encourage commercial businesses to sponsor events.

He said: “We live in an age where public funding is limited but we are lucky enough to have the certainty of two years of European and Arts Council funding to help us move to a point where we are earning our keep.”

0 comments

England's Harry Martin in 2014.

The greatest sporting spectacle on the planet is almost upon us once again.

An East of England Ambulance Service Trust vehicle. Photograph Simon Parker

An elderly woman was taken to hospital on Sunday after she collided with a car in Beccles which then did not stop.

Abellio Greater Anglia

A person has been pronounced dead after being struck by a train near Needham Market station.

Cupola House, in Bury St Edmunds

A steak and lobster restaurant from Southend is understood to be moving into the newly-renovated Cupola House in Bury St Edmunds.

It's hot up there!

You know it’s hot when your thighs stick together. For men out there, it’s more of a woman thing, writes Lynne Mortimer.

Voters at Whiting Street EU polling station, Bury St Edmunds.

Around 7% of people who voted for Brexit in Suffolk and north-east Essex now regret their decision, a poll by this newspaper has found.

Emma Young, assistant nurse at St Helena Hospice in Colchester.

The hospice star who moved staff and patients to tears with a beautiful Adele rendition which has gone viral has said she would relish the chance to release a Christmas song for the charity.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24