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About

Dear friends of Firstsite,

Following careful consideration of recent developments of the Coronavirus / COVID-19 pandemic, we have decided to temporarily close Firstsite to members of the public from 5:00pm this evening (18th March) until further notice. We will open again as soon as we possibly can and will be in touch when we have a firm idea of this date.

We have made this difficult decision to help protect the welfare of our visitors and staff, who always come first.

We believe art can help us to see the world differently. It inspires, empowers and opens our minds. Now more than ever, art can help us feel connected, lift our spirits and support our well-being. Whilst Firstsite is shut, we are working on ways for you to enjoy our programme online. We’ll share these ideas and activities with you soon.

All events including cinema screenings up until and including Monday 30th March are cancelled. If you have pre-booked for any events during this time, we will be in touch over the coming days. As a charity, we rely on our ticket sales and donations to continue to show award-winning artists and exhibitions, bring creativity to East Anglia and support our community. We hope that, if you feel able, you may consider donating the cost of your ticket or any other amount to Firstsite to help us to continue this work and use it where it is needed most.

We will be reviewing the scheduling of other events regularly and if further events are cancelled or postponed we will be in touch with any ticket holders affected directly.

While the building is closed, our team will still be contactable Monday - Friday from 9am - 5pm on 01206 713700 or at info@firstsite.uk

Thank you for your ongoing support and understanding at this time. We hope you will bear with us during this period of disruption.

We look forward to welcoming you back to Firstsite when we re-open.

Take care of yourself and stay safe.

Best wishes,

Sally Shaw
Firstsite Director

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An international gallery and creative community space, Firstsite is open all year round, for free, for everyone. See the world differently – experience the very best art and culture from around the world that inspires, empowers and opens your mind.

Throughout our exceptional artistic and cultural activities, enjoyed by all in a fun and inclusive environment, from exhibitions to community events, talks and lectures to holiday fun activities, we provide a programme that celebrates the diverse and radical people of East Anglia and invite everyone to be part of our creative community.

Our unique and curved building, designed by Rafael Vinoly, creates an environment like no other. Its dramatic frontage leads through to stunning gallery and studio spaces and has a unique versatility which makes it perfect for events as well as a fun and inspirational space to immerse yourself in art, culture and creativity.

Firstsite Shop

Stocking a wide variety of design-led and affordable products, the Firstsite shop is fully accessible and located in the gallery foyer adjacent to the Welcome desk. Our team will be available to help you with your purchase Monday to Sunday

Firstsite Café

Relax in our light and airy café bar located in our Welcome area.

Facilities

Accessibility

  • Disabled access
  • Disabled toilets
  • Facilities for hearing impaired
  • Wheelchairs available

Booking & Payment Details

  • Credit cards accepted (no fee)
  • Credit cards accepted (with charge)

Catering

  • On-site catering
  • On-site light refreshments
  • Picnic site

Children

  • Baby changing facilities
  • Children welcome

Groups

  • Education/study area
  • Facilities for educational visits
  • Facilities for groups

Meeting, Conference & Wedding Facilities

  • Facilities for conferencing
  • Facilities for corporate hospitality

Property Facilities

  • Dogs not accepted (except guidedogs)
  • Gift shop
  • Public toilets
  • Smoking not allowed

Site Features

  • Regional Tourist Board Member
  • Welcome Host

Target Markets

  • Accepts groups
  • Coach parties accepted

Map & Directions

Road Directions

By bike
Cycle racks are available outside Firstsite. Helmets and equipment can be left in our free cloakroom in our Welcome Area. To view the Colchester cycle map and find out more information about cycling in Colchester, visit the Cycle Colchester website.

Walking
Firstsite is just a short walk from Colchester’s High Street and can be reached via a walkway off Queen Street, by the Curzon Cinema, or via Lewis Gardens.

By bus
The High Street, Queen Street and East Hill are well served by many local bus routes with bus stops just a few minutes’ walk from Firstsite. Queen Street Stop Jc, just by the Curzon Cinema, is our nearest bus stop. This is served by bus routes 64, 64A and 65. Firstsite is also just a 10-minute walk from Colchester’s bus station on Osborne Street. For bus times, check Network Colchester’s website or phone 01206 877620 and Essex County Council’s Interactive Bus and Train map.

By rail
Journey time from London Liverpool Street to Colchester is approximately 50 minutes on Greater Anglia services with trains running every hour. Firstsite is a few minutes’ walk from Colchester Town Station via Queens Street. Walking from Colchester mainline station takes approx. 25 minutes or short a bus ride. Taxis are also available from outside the station. For more information or to plan your route, please visit National Rail Enquiries.

Park and Ride
Alight at the High Street stop, Firstsite is just 5 minutes’ walk long the High Street and onto Queen Street. Find out more about Colchester’s Park and Ride.

By car
There is good access to Colchester from all parts of the country via the A12, A120, M25 and A14. To reach the town centre by road, exit the A12 at junction 27 and follow signs to the town centre. Firstsite offers parking for disabled visitors only; there is no on-site parking. Disabled parking bays are allocated on a first come, first served basis – please call 01206 713 700 when planning your visit so we can ensure easy access. Outside the building entrance is a drop-off point for cars and coaches and special access for disabled visitors, this is accessible from Lewis Gardens. We are a short walk from all Colchester’s town centre car parks, the nearest car parks are Priory Street and Britannia. Find out more about parking in Colchester town centre.

By coach
A drop-off point for coaches is situated outside the front of the building – this is accessible from Lewis Gardens. The Colchester Borough Council run car park on Sheepen Road can accommodate coaches.

Accessible by Public Transport: Colchester Town station is 1 mile away.

Firstsite Cinema

Type:Cinema

Lewis Gardens, High Street, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1JH

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Call direct on:

Tel01206 713 700

Opening Times

* Our galleries are open every day from 10am – 5pm, but we also have many other areas to Firstsite which are open throughout the evening.

Welcome area and Box Office
Mon–Sun: 9am–9pm

Art Gallery
Mon–Sun: 10am–5pm

Firstsite Shop
Mon–Sun: 9am–9pm

Café
Mon–Sun: 10am–5pm

Bar
Mon–Sun: 6pm–8pm

Box Office
You can book tickets for our cinema and events online, in person or over the phone.

In person at our Welcome Desk at the entrance (Mon–Sun: 9am–9pm)

By telephone: 01206 713 700 (Mon–Sun: 9am–9pm)

By email: Info@firstsite.uk

Collecting Tickets
You can collect tickets from the Welcome Desk Monday–Sunday: 9am–9pm. Alternatively, these can be posted to you; a small delivery charge does apply.

Annual Closures
Firstsite is closed on 25& 26 December and 1 January.

Exhibition changeovers
Firstsite offers a vibrant programme of changing exhibitions. This does mean that at times a gallery space may be closed as a new exhibition is in the process of being installed. However, the programme is planned to ensure closure of a space is kept to a minimum and that there is always an exhibition open to the public.

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