Thursday, 10 June 2010

Worthing Artists confined to Chalets

Worthing isn't known as the most progressive town in the world. The council and MP's are deepest blue and the default position for anything is NO for fear of upsetting someone - anyone. But things seemed to be changing, the planning restriction banning commercial enterprises from the seafront was lifted a few years ago (shops facing the seafront had to have door on a street away from the front! - they didn't want to be vulgar/commercial like 'Brighton') and even today there are only a very few cafes actually on the front. A regeneration plan for the town recommended encouraging the arts and sport activities on the seafront and to support that end a local cafe owner applied to lease 6 beachhuts to artists and makers to create the start of an artist quarter and to add interest to a stark seafront.

The beachuts were painted up, electricity and water installed, artists found and they have proved pretty popular. This video shows the launch.

Worthing East Beach Studios from Jurgen on Vimeo.

Now the council have acted against their officers recommendations and banned the artists from showing their work outside of the huts on the wide paved area between the huts and the actual prom - because the people browsing just might perhaps obstruct the promenade. In one stroke they have rendered the initiative pointless - artists need to be able to show their work off and attract passers-by to stop and look. If confined to the small dark spaces of the huts they will have no visitors as advertising is banned too.

So what if the promenade is slowed because the artists huts might be popular with visitors looking - its a promenade.

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