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Brighton & Hove’s arts & culture sector led by the Arts & Creative Industries Commission have developed a new Cultural Framework for the city.

The city's cultural framework

Brighton & Hove is known internationally as a hotbed of creativity. It is at the epicentre of one of the most dynamic and innovative creative clusters in the UK, at the forefront of advances in artificial intelligence and augmented reality, as well as being home to hundreds of artists and creative producers. It hosts over sixty festivals a year, including the largest annual arts festival in England. Artists and creative people are drawn to live and work in the city because of its fantastic setting between the sea and the South Downs, its much-loved Georgian architecture and heritage, and its liberal and cosmopolitan attitude, epitomised by its diverse day and night life. As well as being home to 35,000 students, the city boasts a strong civil society with over 2,300 third sector organisations and one of the largest populations of freelancers and homeworkers in the UK.

However, despite its distinctiveness, the city does face a number of significant challenges, some shared with other UK cities (such as the impact of Brexit, growing inequality and problems connected to an ageing population), and some caused by its unique geography, including relatively low productivity and very limited physical space for new houses or workspace. Other towns and cities in the South East are upping their game, realising the potential that new cultural infrastructure and activity brings in place-making, meaning that if Brighton & Hove doesn’t continue to innovate and renew there is a real danger it will lose its productive capacity and creative edge.

The framework’s shared plan of action, co-created in a collaborative process involving hundreds of local people, is an ongoing process to address the things that hold Brighton back. Whether it is addressing inclusion, creating more opportunities for young people to get into creative employment, helping improve health and wellbeing or ensuring that creativity is properly positioned as the driver of growth and inward investment, Brighton & Hove needs to build on its track record as a bold first-mover, and ensure it continues to dare to be different. The framework is wide-ranging. There are five key themes, including the Creative Coast, which will create a prospectus for public and private investment with partners in and around Brighton. This will realise the economic potential of the region by super-charging its creative and cultural businesses.

The framework has five ambitions, which provide a shape for organising the actions. However, cultural activities are not tidily delineated and outcomes and actions may contribute to more than one of the ambitions. These ambitions are:

  1. to become a nationally recognised Centre of Excellence for the use of culture in promoting wellbeing and addressing health inequalities
  2. to develop a best practice co-production model for neighbourhoods, with residents truly in the lead
  3. to be the best place in Britain to be a homeworker or creative freelancer
  4. to be an irresistible magnet for creatives, audiences, visitors and investors
  5. to step up as the regional capital of creative productivity and innovation

The Culture In Our City website is powered by the Brighton & Hove Arts & Creative Industries Commission and supported by Brighton & Hove City Council. It exists to support the sector, champion its strengths and advocate for the central role it plays in the city’s life and economy. This site is designed to support the industry through Covid-19 recovery and to continue to deliver the city's cultural framework and its actions. 

Framework workstrands