Rain

Rain

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 10°C

ESTD 1874 Search

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

A winning lottery ticket was bought in Colchester but the prize is yet to be claimed

The search is on for a mystery lottery ticket holder sitting on an unclaimed fortune somewhere in Colchester.

Some of the drugs were stolen from Ipswich Hospital

Health workers have been caught stealing controlled drugs from some of the region’s hospitals, it can be revealed.

Belchamp St Paul, where the bungalow caught fire

A 96-year-old woman rescued by firefighters from her burning home in Belchamp St Paul has died in hospital.

The air guitar competition at South Street Studios in Ipswich

Aspiring rock-gods and up-and-coming shredders have pitted their axe-wielding skills to the test in a competition to find Ipswich’s top air guitar hero.

Clockwise from top left: Colin Deferia, Simon Webber, Frank Warren, Paul Baker and Andrew Seaton

Five men have been jailed for a total of 112 years for conspiring to murder a man in Bury St Edmunds who was left for dead after being shot with a sawn-off shotgun.

Josh Emmanuel on the ball during the Manchester United v Ipswich Town (Capital One Cup) match at Old Trafford, Manchester, Lancashire, UK on 23 September 2015.      

Picture: Steve Waller       

www.stephenwaller.com

Now 10 games into the season and Ipswich Town sit 13th in the table. Is that going to be the club’s level for the rest of the season?

Simon Dobbin with his wife Nicole.

Thirteen men charged in connection with an incident that left Mildenhall man Simon Dobbin with life-changing injuries have all pleaded not guilty.

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:

MyDate24 MyPhotos24