Award-winning artists and top independent shops open Bexhill’s new Colonnade building
A unique consortium of high-quality, independent shops, some with links to Covent Garden and the V&A, will be moving into Bexhill’s newly regenerated grade II listed King George V Colonnade.
The building, which recently celebrated its centenary and is next door to the iconic De La Warr Pavilion, has been refurbished as part of Rother District Council’s £5million seafront regeneration programme. This has restored the Colonnade to its former glory, but also fitted it with new retail and restaurant space.
For the next three months it will provide a shopping offer that cannot be found anywhere else on the south coast, with a distinctive arts-led feel.
The project, called ‘Made by the Sea’, will run alongside the Andy Warhol exhibition currently being held at the neighbouring pavilion, which is attracting thousands of visitors to the town.
The consortium of traders will showcase the upgraded Colonnade until a restaurant takes on the new space at the start of the summer season, although a retail offer will remain available through newly constructed kiosks.
It is being managed by the ‘Made in Hastings’ brand – key players in the regeneration of Hastings Old Town as a visitor and shopping experience in recent years.
Made in Hastings is an outlet for a variety of local workers and hosts a diverse range of products including; jewellery, kitchenware, artwork, toys, homeware and clothing.
The business is run by a multi-award winning collective of six female artists, who have been described as ‘the queens of rustic chic’ in the national press, and are eager to make their mark in Bexhill.
They have joined forces with other shops and artists to create what is billed as an exciting ‘pop-up’ fair to be held every weekend up until Christmas, with extended opening over holiday periods. The offer also includes:
Benjamin Pollock’s Toy Shop – makers of traditional toys and toy theatres with a shop in Covent Garden.
Aardvark – producers of popular ‘manifesto’ artwork amongst other items, including a piece commissioned for the V&A.
Bell’s Bicycles – a prize winning vintage bike company.
Silversmith Julie-Tucker Williams, contemporary silk-screen artist Vanessa Mooncie and artist and illustrator Haydn Cornner.
Hastings and Bexhill Wood Recycling Project – an award winning social enterprise creating wood furniture.
Hand made ceramics from Wendy Jung and Alice Underhill. Hand-bound artists’ books, drawings, paintings and prints from Lorna Crabbe.
Athelas Exotic Plant Nursery.
A ‘Pop Up’ café from Bexhill Farm Kitchen.
Made by the Sea secured Rother District Council cabinet approval on Monday (October 10) and will open for trading on Saturday 22 October for the whole week. It will then open every weekend until the end of December.
The Colonnade is the last part of the council’s £5million ‘Next Wave’ scheme to regenerate a mile long section of seafront and complement the De La Warr Pavilion. Other features include a spectacular water fountain, seaside park, shelters designed through a Royal Institute of British Architects competition, new seafront furniture, rowing club, play areas and a planting scheme created by a leading garden designer.
Rother District Council leader Cllr Carl Maynard said: “This is a hugely exciting project and one the Council is delighted to give its support to.
“We are already attracting interest for the new restaurant space but are pleased the building can be a home to this unique shopping and arts offer in the meantime – something which I am not aware of anywhere else in the south east.
“The businesses involved are exactly the sort of high-quality traders we want to attract to Bexhill and many of them have strong reputations in the arts world. Made by the Sea will showcase the Colonnade and the rest of the new seafront at its best.”
Josephine Doolan from Made by the Sea said: “We are thrilled to be involved with such an amazing new project in such a wonderful location.
“It is an honour to be the first businesses to trade in this fantastic space, right next door to the De La Warr Pavilion and on the impressive new seafront.
“We think this will be a great success, especially given Bexhill’s enthusiasm for art and design and its history of excellent independent shops. We would urge all residents and visitors to drop in to Made by the Sea where they will receive a very warm welcome. With the combination of talents involved you might find something very special to buy.”
For more information visit www.madebythesea.co.uk