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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 February, 2005, 10:32 GMT
Town's art gallery plans approved
An image of the new art gallery in Eastbourne
Rick Mather Architects was chosen from a shortlist of six firms
Plans for a new multi-million pound art gallery and cultural centre in an East Sussex town have been approved.

The 8.58m scheme would see the gallery built next to the Grade II listed Congress Theatre in Eastbourne.

Artwork currently housed at the Towner Art Gallery in the Old Town will be relocated to the new centre.

Architects say they hope it will bring the gallery into the centre of the town for more people to enjoy. Work is due to begin on the scheme in the summer.

'Envy of many'

New conference halls, community activity rooms and a cafe are also included in the scheme.

Rick Mather Architects said: "The new building will bring a 21st Century addition to Devonshire Park and strengthen its position as the town's cultural quarter."

The Towner Art Gallery, located in Gildredge Park, is an 18th Century manor house which is need of improvements which cannot be done without damaging the building.

The new scheme will be funded by the Arts Council, the Heritage Lottery Fund, South East England Development Agency and Eastbourne Borough Council.

Councillor Graham Marsden, Eastbourne Borough Council leader, said: "I am confident that it will lead to the construction of a cultural centre what will be the envy of many and a focus for the arts in South East England."

Rick Mather Architects was chosen for the scheme from six finalists.

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