The Centre for British Photography is to move from its premises in London’s Jermyn Street as it transitions to the next phase of its development inclduing securing a sustainable financial model. In a letter to supporters, founding director James Hyman set out the CBP’s achievements and looked forward to an earlier than anticipated building move in early 2024. The Centre’s landlords have chosen to take back the premises in January rather than later in the year.
Since the CBP opened in January it has attracted over 70,000 visitors (of which 30,000 came in the first three months), staged eighteen exhibitions, shown more than eight British-based photographers, held an Open Call for work that attracted over 1000 submissions and hosted events and screenings, and worked with 117 prebooked educational and other groups.
Hyman said that the Centre’s first ‘proof of concept’ phase had demonstrated the quality of what could be delivered and shown that there was an audience for photography. Phase two he tagged as ‘permanence’ which he defined as securing the additional funding to secure a permanent home for the Centre. At its launch in January 2023 Hyman was clear that he and his partner Claire would fund the Centre for two years, after which it would need public or other sources of funding to secure its future.
The Centre was launched in February 2020, originally as the Hyman Foundation, with a mission ‘to support all kinds of photographic practices in Britain and to provide platforms for these contributions that are educational, inclusive and inspiring for the benefit of all audiences’. It opened a permanent 8000 square foot space in January 2023. At the core of the Centre’s research hub is the Hyman’s 3000+ strong collection of photography which the Centre holds and manages under an annual loan agreement. Although the Centre has started to develop its own sources of funding it is underpinned by loans from the Hymans of £97,370, plus £244,860 received for resale of donated goods valued at £244,860 from James Hyman.
Securing funding will be key to delivering Phase 2 and securing the achievements of the Centre’s first year.