Heart of the arts for Whitstable and beyond
The Horsebridge enjoys more than 90,000 visitors through its doors each year. These visitors are made up of local and regional visitors as well as growing numbers of tourists from the UK and abroad as Whitstable continuers to attract cultural and heritage tourists. We are committed to deliver a year-round programme of arts activities, events and learning opportunities to Whitstable and beyond, responding to and enhancing the passions of the community. We work cohesively in our programming to ensure we offer events the community can be involved in with the aim of having no barrier to access, particularly with youth projects and events, connecting with other organisations and groups across the district to enhance the collective offering to the region.
We continue to develop new approaches to reach sections of our community who feel there is nothing in the arts for them and encourage them to take their first step through our doors and into the wonderful world of creating.
The Centre relies on income generated from hire charges and events to cover its operating costs alongside grant funding, Friends and donations. To remain accessible and to continue to provide public benefit, the trustees and management team of the Centre take great care to ensure the fees set across the Centre remain accessible for those on low income and strive to provide free or pay what you can activities throughout the year.
Through our core activities we are able to provide a community focused multi-arts space.
Our galleries programme creates an accessible space where local, national and international artists can present their work to our visiting audience. The flexibility of the galleries enable us to work with established artists and groups to present high-quality exhibitions of a variety of mediums including painting, printmaking, sculpture, textiles, film and ceramics. Equally important, the spaces, and our supporters, allow us the opportunity to showcase future artists and creators by working with local school, sixth form and higher education students and provide an experience not possible elsewhere in the region. This incredible breadth of creativity means that the 40+ exhibitions that take place each year provide our visitors with a huge variety of arts to explore, always encouraged by our passionate front of house and galleries team.
Classes and workshops
For us, participation is central to building a life-long love of the arts and the benefits creating brings. The centre's various spaces are hired by small business and individuals to offer a varied range of participatory opportunities. Not only does this provide a wider range of classes than we can offer alone, it enables those passionate about an activity to grow their professional career by teaching and exploring with others. We compliment these with our enhanced education offer to ensure there is always a range of affordable and accessible classes and workshops.
Hire of spaces
Alongside the hire of gallery and workshop spaces, we also offer important spaces for people to meet. The variety of spaces available for hire allow a range of meetings to take place; from individual therapy and well-being sessions to large Muslim prayer meetings and from company away days to fostering support groups.
Benefit beyond our doors
Not only do the core activities within the centre bring benefit to the individuals engaging in them, but they also draw visitors to the town. High profile events and exhibitions - like Lino Print 2 - bring visitors from across the country who book places to stay, shop in the fantastic Whitstable high street, visit our heritage sites and explore the incredible food and drink offers.