Firstsite is a visual arts centre based in Colchester, Essex.
Their mission is to make contemporary art relevant and life changing for everyone. Local outreach programs and public art projects in the community are integral to this vision.
Firstsite is dedicated to supporting the creative community, growing local talent and enhancing Colchester as a cultural destination. Its aim is to broaden the cultural offer in one of the UK's fastest growing towns and to develop local audiences for contemporary art.
Inspired by Colchester's Roman heritage, Firstsite's bold design is more than a traditional art gallery; its unusual curved form hugs the parkland landscape whilst its unique engineering preserves the Roman treasures which may lie beneath.
Designed by award-winning architect Rafael Vinoly, the crescent-shaped building clad with a unique golden alloy presents a creative space and a landmark destination. At 3,200 square metres, Firstsite will rank among the largest contemporary art venues in the UK.
Colchester Borough Council is a partner in Firstsite along with Essex Council County and The Arts Council. The total development cost of the Firstsite facility was £25,542,701. The Council contributed £2,735,000 towards the project and currently pays an annual grant of £151,321 to assist the work of the organisation and the upkeep of the building.
The charity FirstSite occupy the building in Lewis Gardens as tenants, the freehold is retained by the Council.