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Work underway to convert empty unit into cultural seafront venue

Published Friday, 23rd June 2017

Construction work is well underway to convert an empty seafront unit into a vibrant cultural venue.

Located at the foot of the Pier Hill lift, the empty unit, to be named ‘Twenty One’ will offer a varied programme of art exhibitions, performances, music and spoken word from a modern café setting, complete with patio seating and serving delicious healthy food and drinks.

Scheduled to open by the summer holidays, plans are now being drawn up for the launch of the venue. Focal Point Gallery, who will oversee the cultural programme, are now inviting local artists to come forward for the venue’s initial exhibition ‘100% Southend'.

Cllr Ann Holland, Executive Councillor for Culture, Tourism & the Economy, said: “I’m delighted that work is progressing so well at Twenty One.

“Being a town that prides itself on its culture and tourism offer, this venue will be a welcome addition to an already thriving seafront. As we celebrate 125 years since the incorporation of the Borough, having an additional space for people to relax, enjoy our wonderful seafront and get involved in cultural activities is fantastic news for the town.

“It’s another important step in the seafront’s continued regeneration and demonstrates how the Council is investing in culture as part of a varied visitor offer. This is a key component of the tourism strategy that we are developing with the Southend Tourism Partnership.”

Joe Hill, Director of Focal Point Gallery, said: “To coincide with the launch of this new space, the gallery will showcase the diverse range of artistic practice in the area and we are inviting every Southend and SS postcode artist to take part in the first exhibition ‘100% Southend’.

“The exhibition will use the traditional page format of A4 to bring together a diverse range of 2D works from both established and emerging artists across the SS postcodes.”

Anyone interested in having their work displayed as part of the ‘100% Southend’ exhibition should do so in the following way:

  1. Drop your artwork off at Focal Point Gallery
  2. Send your artwork and contact info by post to Focal Point Gallery, The Forum, Elmer Square, Southend-on-Sea, SS1 1NB
  3. Submission Criteria:
  • 2D artworks only, which do not exceed A4 size
  • You must be resident of, practicing in or from an SS postcode
  • Artworks to be unframed
  • DEADLINE for submission is 5.00pm on Friday 7th July 2017

The work taking place at Twenty One will complement the plans to revamp the pier entrance, with work due to start after the summer holiday.