As important now as in 1935

I would suggest that the Brede parish councillor should have checked his facts before writing his diatribe against the De La Warr Pavilion last week.

He maintains that their annual £500,000 grant from RDC is a waste of taxpayers’ money and likewise the similar amount from the Arts Council of England.

Firstly, looking at the situation solely in financial terms.

The RDC grant equates to approximately £8 per annum from every Rother adult.

Which in my view is not a bad investment to assist in the maintenance of Rother’s number-one attraction, with some 370,000 visitors going through its doors each year and whose annual contribution to the region’s economy in 2007 (the date of the latest evaluation) was some £16,000,000.

And in my opinion that figure would be considerably greater in the current year.

Not a benefit to the tax payers of Rother?

As for the Arts Council grant, I can assure the gentleman, that it takes a great deal of time and effort to obtain money from that source, and it only goes to the most deserving of community causes.

Our Grade-I listed Modernist building is certainly not, as the writer suggests, ‘an edifice to days gone by’.

Its place in the community being just as important now, as it was in 1935, when the Socialist 9th Earl De La Warr’s idea of a pioneering centre for cultural excellence for local people and visitors first opened its doors.

I close by paraphrasing Samuel Johnson: “When a man is tired of the De La Warr Pavilion, he is tired of life for there is in the Pavilion all that life can afford.” Not to be taken too seriously!

Finally, the penultimate paragraph of the letter from Brede /Rye, contains perhaps the writer’s real motive for writing it, that in his opinion RDC spend too much money on Bexhill town centre and the De La Warr Pavilion.

John Betts

Eden Drive


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