England’s Creative Coast brings together the outstanding galleries along the South East of England’s spectacular coastline.

Exterior 5 - Credit Benjamin Beker






Turner Contemporary
Turner Contemporary is one of the UK’s most distinctive art galleries. Opened in 2011, the gallery has fast become a visitor attraction of national and international importance.

Situated on Margate seafront, on the same site where Turner stayed when visiting the town, Turner Contemporary presents a rolling programme of temporary exhibitions, events and learning opportunities which make intriguing links between historic and contemporary art.  The gallery has led the regeneration of Margate and East Kent, already welcoming over 2.6 million visits and contributing over £67 million into the local economy through tourism and inward investment. The vision of the organisation is Art Inspiring Change, using collaboration, learning, ambition and transformation to effect change, inspire new ways of working and for everyone to have access to world-class art.

“Turner Contemporary’s purpose is to stretch the boundaries of current visual arts practice, to make the exhibitions sufficiently varied and to bridge the gap between the historical and contemporary.

By truly putting arts and culture at the core of England’s Creative Coast, we aim to create a unique, cohesive visitor offer which celebrates our distinctive coastline and significantly grows the visitor economy for the region.
Victoria Pomery OBE, Director, Turner Contemporary

“I never imagined that my family and grandchildren would have the opportunity to walk into a local gallery to view world-class art. Now they do.”
Local resident

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Creative Folkestone
This independent visionary arts charity is dedicated to enabling the regeneration of Folkestone through creative activity. Working with the people of Folkestone, partners and other stakeholders, the Creative Folkestone is transforming the town making it a better place to live, work, visit and study.

Established in 2002,  Creative Folkestone has a remarkable record of success having already transformed the old town of Folkestone, around the scenic harbour, into a Creative Quarter populated by artists and home to creative industries, a Sixth Form Centre and a university outpost. Over five hundred jobs have been created and ninety buildings have been restored in the Creative Quarter and the Quarterhouse, a performance venue for music, theatre, dance and comedy has been built. The area has been animated by four internationally acclaimed visual art Triennials; Folkestone Artworks is a significant and permanent contemporary art collection and an annual Book Festival.

“This project is a manifestation of the strength and quality of the visual arts ecology in Kent, Sussex and Essex and how it can become a catalyst to develop and further enhance the visitor economy. Pairing artists and world class art with new technologies and the welcoming people and communities of our counties can be an appealing proposition for tourists from the UK and abroad. The Creative Foundation has heavily contributed to the visitor economy in Folkestone and Shepway and we are now very pleased to be part of this regional project that aims to do the same in a way larger scale.”
Alastair Upton, Chief Executive of the Creative Folkestone


De La Warr Pavilion
This vibrant, versatile space aims to cultivate talent, inspire creativity and provide opportunities for interactions between artists and audiences.

Offering free access to exhibitions all year round, plus live performances, a dynamic learning and participation programme, indoor and outdoor events, and bespoke venue hire, De La Warr aims to live up to the name given to it by its audiences when the venue first opened – the People’s Pavilion.

De La Warr encourage exploration, collaboration and innovation by providing a venue where artists from different disciplines and audiences can meet, engage and share their thinking and ideas.

“With over 400,000 visitors a year the De La Warr Pavilion is one of the key destinations for cultural tourists in East Sussex. As one of the founder partners of the Coastal Culture Trail and Sussex Modern initiatives, we know that the contemporary traveller likes to curate their own tourism experiences combining culture with beautiful scenery, local food and drink and independent places to stay. England’s Creative Coast is a fantastic opportunity to expand this idea across the South East coastline, growing visitors and contributing to the economy of the region. We are delighted to be involved in this exciting project.”
Stewart Drew, Director and CEO, De La Warr Pavilion

Hastings Contemporary

Hastings Contemporary

Hastings Contemporary

Hastings Contemporary, formerly the Jerwood Gallery, will champion modern and contemporary art in an international context through an ambitious expanded programme and will explore all forms of modern and contemporary art, as well as continuing to champion the medium of painting, for which it has built a strong reputation. The gallery will present a broad range of works by historically important and internationally renowned artists, emerging practitioners, as well as exploring the rich cultural history of artists from the South East.


Liz Gilmore, Director, Hastings Contemporary says:
“The launch of Hastings Contemporary on 6th July is testament to the phenomenal growth of the visual arts along the South East coast and particularly here in Hastings. For a number of years now the Coastal Cultural Trail has connected us to our neighbours, De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill-on-Sea and Towner Eastbourne. We look forward to developing new relationships with arts organisations in Kent and Essex, made possible by England’s Creative Coast.”


Founded in London in 2002 by Jude Kelly OBE, Metal works in Liverpool, Southend-on-Sea and in Peterborough, working from buildings of historic significance that and transforming them from empty or derelict spaces into vibrant cultural community hubs.

From these bases, Metal works to provide the catalyst that can transform the potential of people and places through great art and inspiring ideas.

The organisation supports artists from the UK and overseas, working in all disciplines, at all career levels, providing opportunities like the Liverpool Art Prize and the Chamber of Culture for emerging artists, alongside hosting artists-in-residence (Time & Space / International Programme) and running intensive, week-long Culture LAB’s for peer-to-peer learning and exchange. Metal creates large- scale, participatory projects that respond to the immediate environment and involve people of all ages and from all walks of life, such as Upon This Rock, Anthem, On The Line and Thames to Tama which worked with 4665 young people from 25 schools along the north bank of the Thames Estuary.

Exhibitions and events include Botech Compositions for Liverpool Biennial, Shorelines Literature Festival of the Sea hosted in the coastal town of Southend, and Village Green which attracts 20,000 people to share in great music and art.

Installation View, A Certain Kind of Light, Towner Art Gallery Eastbourne, 2017. Photo Credit - Alison Bettles 1500px

Towner Art Gallery
Founded as an art gallery for the people, Towner Art Gallery presents exhibitions of national and international importance to audiences across the UK and beyond. Showcasing the most exciting developments in modern and contemporary art, Towner develops and supports artistic practice, and provides a place for experiencing, creating and discussing art and culture.

The gallery welcomes over 140,000 visitors a year and collaborates with individuals, communities and organisations to deliver an inclusive and accessible associated public programme and learning offer. Their acclaimed Collection of 4500 works is best known for its modern British art – including the largest and most significant body of work by Eric Ravilious (1903-1942) – and a growing collection of international contemporary art. In 2014, Towner became an independent charitable Trust, supported by a Board of Trustees, chaired by David Dimbleby. Towner is supported by Eastbourne Borough Council and Arts Council England through its National Portfolio Programme.

“As one of the three galleries that make up the Coastal Culture Trail in East Sussex, we have seen first-hand the fantastic benefits that partnerships between cultural organisations can have for tourism, the local business economy, and for an area’s residents and visitors. We’re excited to be working with new and existing partners on the England’s Creative Coast project to attract even more visitors to our spectacular stretch of coastline.”
Niamh Pearce, Acting Director, Towner Art Gallery

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Cement Fields

Cement Fields brings people together to experience outstanding new art in north Kent, along the Thames Estuary from Dartford to Whitstable.

Cement Fields supports early-career artists to develop ambitious, risk-taking new art, and supports children and young people to develop imagination, skills, and routes into creative careers. We stage festivals, long-term projects, events and learning opportunities that involve and engage a diverse range of artists, participants and audiences.

Their programme includes future editions of our internationally renowned festival, the Whitstable Biennale, and in September-October 2020, in partnership with Metal, we will present Estuary 2020, a major festival taking place across the Estuary in north Kent and south Essex.

Sue Jones, Director Cement Fields says:
“Cement Fields is delighted to be part of England’s Creative Coast. We are excited to be working with artist Jasleen Kaur to develop an ambitious new work for Gravesend, working closely with people. England’s Creative Coast represents an exciting opportunity for Gravesend – a town on the banks of the Thames Estuary with expansive river views and a rich history – to work in partnership with places along our spectacular coastlines in Kent, Essex and Sussex to present outstanding new art.”