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Support the Solent Swim to save the Watts Studios

Posted 17th September 2014
Watts Contemporary Gallery

Perdita Hunt, Director of Watts Gallery, is swimming the Solent, one of the busiest stretches of water in the world, on Saturday 27 September to raise money for saving the Watts Studios, the only remaining 19th century artist’s studio with its collection still intact and the only remaining house and studio designed by Sir Ernest George, the great Arts & Crafts architect.

The Watts Gallery Trust is seeking to save the Watts house and studios in Compton and needs to raise £680,000 by the end of the year to complete the first phase and to unlock the monies pledged by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Perdita will be accompanied on the swim by her son and daughter, and Sarah Giles, Project Manager from Project 5, the leading IT company in the South East. Watts Gallery Volunteer Michael Binnie will also accompany the swimmers paddling the Solent in a kayak for the first time. The team hopes to raise £10,000.

Commenting on the swim Perdita Hunt said,

The designs for the restoration of the Watts studios, the Mary Watts Gallery, the Compton Gallery, the Community learning spaces and the conservation studio in the Watts Studio wing are breathtaking. On top of this there will be a wonderful woodland and gardens to explore. If we could bring all this back into the public domain it will be a treat for families, visitors, the local community and scholars for years to come. The hardest part of any appeal is the last part. The hardest part of swimming the Solent is getting in, dodging the tankers and finding dry land. If I know that there are people generously giving of their funds to support the Studios, it will make the project and the swim achievable. Thank you to anyone who can respond!

Please help us to reach this target by donating online by clicking here, texting ‘WATT14’ to 70070, sending a cheque payable to ‘Watts Gallery’ marked for the attention of Sarah Mitchell or calling 01483 813 597. 



Watts Gallery would like to thank the following companies for their support, Bembridge Powerboat Training, Tackt-Isle Adventures and Bembridge Marine.

A contribution from the monies raised will be made to St Helen's Primary School on the Isle of Wight.