Policies and Procedures

Visitor Charter 

Firstsite’s mission is to make contemporary art accessible and relevant to our visitors, therefore we want to ensure that your visitor experience is excellent whilst we look after the art works and the safety of all visitors.

Therefore we ask you to pay attention to some simple rules each time you visit and in return we promise to do our best to accommodate the needs of all.


We kindly ask visitors:

To engage with Firstsite’s exhibitions, resources and events
Not to touch art works on display
Not to eat or drink beyond the café and terrace
Not to smoke in our building or its external spaces
Not to use mobile phones to make calls in the exhibitions
Not to use flash or tripods when taking photographs
Please respect rights of other visitors to access Firstsite
Please respect our building
Please respect our staff doing their job

Firstsite reserves the right to ask a member of the public to leave the premises if they do not respect these rules or act in an unacceptable manner.


Attending the Firstsite cinema

Children aged 15 years or under cannot attend a screening unaccompanied (regardless of film certification). They should be accompanied by an adult aged 18 years or older.

Children 16 and older can attend a screening unaccompanied if the film certification is appropriate to their age.


Immunity from Seizure 

Works of art intended to form part of a forthcoming exhibition at Firstsite that may be covered by immunity from seizure are listed below.

Part 6 of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 provides immunity from seizure for cultural objects, which are loaned from overseas to temporary public exhibitions in approved museums or galleries in the UK, where conditions are met when the object enters the UK.

The conditions are:

  • The object is usually kept outside the UK
  • The object is not owned by a person who is resident in the UK
  • Importing the object does not contravene any law
  • The object is brought into the UK for the purpose of a temporary public exhibition at an approved museum or gallery
  • The museum or gallery has published information about the object.

All works currently being proposed for or covered by immunity from seizure in the UK are linked to the Arts Council’s website

If you have any further enquiries, please write to:

Immunity from Seizure
Director’s office
Lewis Gardens
High Street
Colchester CO1 1JH


Ticket Sales Terms & Conditions


Art Classes

We hold a separate cancellation policy for Art Classes – this can be found here 


All other tickets:

1. Tickets are non-transferable. Reselling a ticket for profit/commercial gain without permission from Firstsite will make it void and the holder may be refused entry or removed from the event. Those who hold tickets from unauthorised outlets may be refused admission to the event.

2. Firstsite is not liable for any tickets that are lost or stolen.

3. If the event is taking place in the Firstsite auditorium, latecomers may not be admitted until a suitable break in the proceedings.

4. Firstsite reserves the right to refuse entry or make alterations to the programme if rendered necessary by unavoidable causes.

5. It is against the law to smoke in the Firstsite building.

6. The recording, filming or documenting of an event without prior consent from Firstsite is not permitted. Ticket holders consent to the recording, filming or documenting of themselves as participants / audience members of the event. CCTV is in operation on the premises for the purpose of crime prevention and detection.

7. Firstsite cannot refund tickets unless the event is cancelled by Firstsite as a result of unavoidable circumstances. You may exchange your ticket for a credit note (valid for one year only). The exchange request must be received by Firstsite no later than 48 hours before the event start time. The exchange may be subject to an administration fee.

9. For security reasons, bags may be searched upon entry.

10. Dogs (except assistance dogs) are not permitted in the building.

11. Please consider our neighbours and leave Firstsite quietly after the event.

12. If the event is taking place in the Firstsite auditorium, please ensure mobile phones, pagers and watch alarms are switched off for the duration.


Account credit and vouchers

Any credit or vouchers are valid for a maximum of 12 months from the date of issue unless specifically stated on written information given at the time of issue. Some credit will have a shorter expiry date – this will be stated on the written information given at time of issue and this specific time frame cannot be extended. 


Text Giving

Supporters can donate to Firstsite via text giving – our Text Giving terms & conditions can be found here.

Welcome area at Firstsite. 'Big Hello' (2018) Peter Liversidge. Photo by Jayne Lloyd.

Join our mailing list

Sign up to our mailing list to receive the latest updates from Firstsite.