Jerwood's three years of public display have not gone by without a hint of controversy and public resistance, with the 'Save Our Stade Committee' (SOS) and a number of disgruntled local residents voicing their displeasure towards the gallery, we take a look at how the presence of Jerwood has affected the local economy and community since their doors opened in 2012.
In Jerwood's first year of business, it was reported by the Hastings Observer that over 65,000 people had visited the gallery, providing further incentives for non-locals to visit the town with reduced rates for Hastings residents, but while this number is certainly a considerable feat for an up and coming attraction, the gallery promised 150,000 visitors and parking on the Stade was banned. SOS's Ion Castro said 'We are all suffering, the loss of parking revenue and indemnity from payment to over £130,000 every year is hurting every council tax payer in Hastings. The number of outsiders lured into Hastings to spend their money here is derisory so it has failed as an engine of regeneration.
Jerwood's Kate Giles said that 'we're bringing a different £130,000. What we're seeing is a change, and change is sometimes difficult for people.This place needs to have new injections of income, new sorts of people coming in to visit. Hastings isn't losing money because Jerwood is here - the money is moving.' She added that 'We know that 66 to 70 percent of our visitors have come to Hastings because of the gallery. Retailers in old town have really seen in the last 3 years the number of people coming from outside the area. the gallery is thriving and it's bringing in people from outside the area, we're doing what we said we'd do.'
However, not all residents feel that the gallery is beneficiary three years later, with Hastings resident Harry O'Sullivan saying that 'The money spent on building it in my opinion could have gone towards renovation on other parts of the town. However ,any money going into the town is a good thing, but I would have liked to see the money come in through different means such as renovation of existing places in Hastings.'