Front cover

Supporting economic growth and maintaining an attractive, connected and well run city for residents, businesses and visitors.

Seb Lee Delisle, Laser Light City. On 3 sites across Brighton, 2020. In collaboration with Same Sky and soundtrack provided by Platform B. Photo credit © Ashley Laurence.


Wall mural on white wall, featuring bold, light blue writing with the phrase 'Placed on the tip of a wave'.

Lawrence Weiner, PLACED ON THE TIP OF A WAVE, 2009. © 2022 Lawrence Weiner/ARS, New York. Photo courtesy Regen Projects, Los Angeles.

“You are the public in public art, we want you to be part of the conversations that shape and inform your city’s approach for the next ten years.” Consultation Facilitator

This strategy has been created following widespread conversation with people directly involved with public art followed by a city-wide consultation.  

Initial conversations involved 43 people including:

  • city council staff working in:
    • culture
    • regeneration
    • visitor economy
    • economic development
    • transport
    • parks
    • seafront
  • cultural strand leads from the Cultural Framework and their working groups
  • public art consultants, funders and arts, cultural and heritage organisations

The second and most important stage was the city-wide consultation. Lighthouse, a Brighton-based arts charity specialising in connecting new developments in art, technology, science and society, led on this. A series of 6 thought-provoking films about public art were commissioned from Thirty 10 Arts to begin the conversations (550 views).

These were:

Public Art Places and Spaces  (Matt Adams, Atif Choudhury)

Greening the City and Being Carbon neutral (Ami Rae, Claire Potter)

Public Art and Wellbeing (Emma Frankland, Elsa Monteith)

Heritage and How We Communicate That Through Public Art (E J Scott, Judith Ricketts)

Connectivity and Community (Amartey Golding, Bobby Brown)

The films were accompanied by:

  • an online poll - 250 responses
  • the ‘digital campfire’ online discussion, a 2-hour event comprising a discussion and Questions and answers chaired by Dom Bailey with Atif Choudhury, Judith Ricketts - 90 attendees
  • a British Sign Language translated online conversation between Nadia Nadarajah, John Walker and Omeima Mudawi-Rowlings
  • focus group discussions (Marlborough Productions, Brighton & Hove Black History Group, Hove Civic Society, Platform B, Diversity & Ability and Blind Veterans

The conversations aimed to:

  • identify how Brighton & Hove should be represented and what should be celebrated
  • test some emerging themes
  • inform the development and implementation of a Public Art Strategy

Project steering group

The project steering group was chaired by Dom Bailey, Strategic Director at Baxter & Bailey and involved council officers Branwen Lorigan, Synthia Griffin and Donna Chisholm.

Multi-coloured rocks/boulders piled in rows one on top of the other in a desert type setting at sunset.

Ugo Rondinone, Seven Magic Mountains. Commissioned by Nevada Museum of Art for Las Vegas, Nevada in 2016. Photo credit: © Gianfranco Gorgoni


     “Public art, in all its diversity, can mediate all spaces as places.” John Newling

For centuries, cities such as our own and all over the world, have toiled with what public art represents and in whose voice it speaks. Very recently the subject of debate has raged once again with the Black Lives Matter protests and over time public art has attracted criticism, love and outrage. Think of Ivor Roberts-Jones’ Churchill with a freshly applied grass Mohican or Bruce Williams ‘Kiss Wall’- the first sculpture in the country featuring a same-sex kiss, here in the city. We all have an opinion about public art as the public so it’s important that the city council talks about it too.

Brighton & Hove lays claim as a place of artistic and cultural significance. And as we look to highlight the city’s heritage and natural environment, this strategy sets out how our sense of identity, community pride and belonging can be expressed now – and into the future - through public art.

From the Brighton Festival and Brighton Fringe, many wonderful gems of arts organisations are based here.  A city of festivals, our city boasts hundreds of arts and creative organisations which help to define our collective sense of identity and harness the blossoming of creativity. Already this year we have seen graduates from our universities help beautify empty shop fronts with art; murals designed by young people adorn our youth centres; and our arts and culture recovery plan takes shape.  It’s another reminder of the frontline value that public art brings to our communities and that art is done by, and should be for, everyone.

Public art makes cities what they are – and as we continue our focus on tackling the challenges Brighton & Hove faces, from the climate emergency to the Covid-19 crisis, we know it will play a central role. Our response to adversity has already been shaped and expressed through arts and culture, and remains a key way we understand and navigate the challenges ahead. The public art strategy is an essential tool for recovery as we continue to establish our city as a leader of the sustainable, built and natural environment, with a commitment to support our city’s cultural vibrancy.

The importance of our city’s arts sector was highlighted by the community during the consultation that now informs this strategy, the feedback unambivalent: residents and stakeholders rightfully demand a place for artists and art in our city. Therefore, I am delighted that the City Council is broadening its focus on art and engaging with artists to produce this new public art strategy which builds on the city’s existing public art, culture and heritage. It also places a stronger focus on the importance of temporary public art projects as a way to provide for community cultural expression and engagement on contemporary issues – especially sustainability.

The strategy follows a series of conversations across the city, building on these discussions, our approach is proposed as a collaboration between the city and its residents. Our shared goal: the creation of contemporary spaces that bring together nature and culture and are loved by the community and visitors.

Councillor  Phélim Mac Cafferty, Leader of Brighton & Hove City Council

“Public art is about the free field, the play of creative vision.” Patricia Phillips

Brass sculpture of bird sitting on a copper coloured post.

Tracey Emin, Roman Standard, 2005. Photo credit: © Antonia Reeve.

1. Introduction

“I am interested in Public Art being participatory. In it being of the public, by the public, for the public, in a public space.” Consultation participant

The purpose of this Public Art Strategy is to provide a framework for public art in Brighton & Hove over the next 10 years. It has been developed as a shared vision to embed public art into the fabric of the city to reflect Brighton & Hove’s unique history, its diverse communities, its creativity, its innovation and its energy.

It will:

Enhance the quality of the public realm, including the reimagination of existing heritage sites and animating new environments

Support the city’s cultural sector, capturing and promoting the city’s creativity, diversity and personality

Improve the city’s reputation as the most sustainable place to live, work and visit

Enhance the city’s current cultural offer and rich year-round programme of festivals and events.

Enable Brighton & Hove residents to experience high quality public art

Three individuals standing in the courtyard of a building in front of three door/archways. They are holding up colourful masks in front of their faces.

John Walter, The Fourth Wall. Commissioned by Look Again Festival, Aberdeen in 2019. Photo credit: © Grant Anderson.

This strategy has been prepared during a time when the purpose and value of public space is being re-evaluated and re-discovered. This has provided a unique opportunity to reconsider how art in the public realm might evolve. It considers what is most relevant to Brighton and Hove residents, and how their voices can be represented and involved in creating public art.

This strategy sets out 10 guiding principles, a series of objectives and recommendations for their delivery, identifies what the city council will do and includes opportunities for its partners to help realise and support the city in becoming leader in the field of public art. The strategy has been developed alongside the existing planning documents and is supported by a Public Art and Development Planning Advice Note (PAN) and Public Art Commissioning Toolkit providing guidance for those commissioning public art.

Our aim is to help artists, planners, enablers, investors and others to work more effectively together, more collaboratively and in a less transactional. It will be delivered through partnerships, with developers, arts and cultural organisations and businesses, the City Council, artists, makers and craftspeople, and above all with the residents of the city.

1.1 What is Public Art

“It’s the engagement in the creation of art which gives it heritage. There’s a process of creating a narrative around it: who made it, who participated, who was involved, and passing that on, almost like folklore.” Consultation participant

The term ‘public art’ is used to define a broad range of art including permanent and temporary installations and artworks that reflect the life of the city, its communities and visitors. Public art is for everyone and can be found across the city.   From the streets, parks, seafront and undeveloped sites to stations, hospitals, universities, the South Downs National Park and public buildings. Public art is often described as ‘art in the public realm’ where the city itself becomes the gallery.

There is no one definition of, or single approach to creating public art. Public art can be temporary, permanent, or time-limited. Public art can be a performance, or something to experience, contemplate or view, listen to or participate in. The process of creating it can be collaborative, co-produced or co-curated. Public art can create connections between people, places and ideas or it can just be an artist’s individual response to a site or context or an issue.

Public art be a small, quiet artwork or encounter, or a mass city-wide spectacle, it can be there one day and gone the next, whilst living on in people’s memories. Public art might be interactive or an architectural or landscape intervention, a soundscape, a lightwork, digital art, street furniture or sculpture or a myriad of other forms.

Public art can surprise, delight, challenge and provoke reactions or stimulate debate. It can be humorous, subtle or contentious. It may change people’s perceptions or reveal something hidden or neglected, or be a permanent reminder to celebrate or acknowledge an individual, group or moment as a memorial or monument. Public art should reflect and can influence the ways in which we see and understand a place, its history, and the stories of its residents or users.

Realistic, graphic art image of Neptune holding the trident spear.

Cosmo Sarson, Neptune. Edward Street Quarter, Brighton.

1.2 The Impact of Public Art

Public art can contribute to a broad range of benefits.


Civic pride: art and artist-led projects can encourage people to rediscover and interact with their environment.

Social Inclusion: art can be used to facilitate social inclusion, bringing people together to participate in community events and enabling people to learn about their neighbours through artist-led engagement.

Improving health and wellbeing: research recognises the importance of artistic activity, such as art trails, artist-led walks, workshops and events in green spaces, in rehabilitation, mental health, palliative care, pain management and healing.

Contribute to promoting a sense of positivity: through unique, innovative and meaningful engaging interventions and participation.

Celebration of diversity and encouragement of community cohesion: provides an opportunity to explore people and place. Art can contribute to a sustainable future for the city’s communities, enabling inclusiveness, tolerance and belonging.

Ensuring transparency and promoting equality: by using equitable processes in terms of artist selection and procurement of services.


Supporting local businesses: by developing a locally sourced circular economy.

Providing local employment opportunities: working with local artists, craftspeople, designers, creatives, fabricators, event organisers and production managers, arts, events and cultural organisations.

Encouraging inward investment: creative vitality, opportunities and activities can enhance the appeal of the city for businesses, investors and visitors.

Opportunities for people to participate in the arts: understanding and inclusion can help attract diverse creative and innovative people to work in the arts and creative industries of the city, supporting the creative economy.

Contribute to attracting visitors to the city: unique connections between artworks and their environments can offer visitors insights into an area they are visiting. Local materials and imagery can become features, local traditions or myths can be celebrated.


Developing skills and capabilities of communities: community involvement in public art projects can provide opportunities for people of all ages to develop creative and practical skills.

Building expertise across the arts and cultural sector: public art creates diverse employment and professional development opportunities for artists, craftspeople, fabricators and associated professionals.

Building expertise across the regeneration and development sector: working with artists on a design team can bring a different viewpoint to a project. Artists can be collaborators, creative problem-solvers or disruptors, they can question assumptions, suggest alternative materials or propose unconventional approaches.

Environmental and Sustainability

Regeneration: artists as designers, collaborators, facilitators and provocateurs.

Placemaking: ‘placemaking’ or ‘place shaping’ with the people who use a particular space to understand their needs and aspirations; working with communities to create a vision for their area, transforming spaces into places that people can identify with and own.

Sustainability: artists can respond to the challenging issues of climate change to encourage others to be more aware of their global impact upon it and to reduce the effect on the local environment.

Legibility: glimpsing the sea from Queens Road or seeing the Dome of the Pavilion from Church Street or the street art in the North Laine – public art act as landmarks and can help people to recognise where they are.


Debate and discussion: artists can introduce new and challenging cultural ideas. Public art supports a diverse and tolerant society and demonstrates that cities are places leading positive change where ideas can be openly discussed and debated without fear.

Celebration of cultural heritages: every community has its own customs and practices. Shared history and traditions contribute to an individual’s sense of belonging, understanding and appreciation of their ‘place’. Public art can enable a shared understanding.

Commemorating heritage: creating art is an all-encompassing activity that involves artists, designers, historians, ecologists and many others to interpret the social and political significance of place. Artefacts, such as historic maps, photographs and films are often used to explore local heritage with schools and communities.

Appreciation of art: through public art children and young people can think about where they belong, explore their city, its history or imagine its future.

2. Our intention

Vision: We will take this opportunity to highlight the city’s existing amazing natural assets, combine these with the creative talent of residents and create something extraordinary, in the most sustainable way possible. One Landscape, Many Views.

Our mission is to become the UK’s leading city for beautiful sustainable public art and public realm, with inclusivity at the heart of our work. Brighton & Hove can become recognised for its sustainable public art.

Brighton & Hove is a city with a long history of creativity. The council understands the integral and valuable role arts and culture plays in making the city a prosperous, healthy and attractive place. Art and culture brings people together and can animate local areas, high streets and city centres. Sustainable public art must become a vital component in masterplanning the future of the city so that new developments incorporate creative ideas from the outset.

Public art has to be so much more than decoration, Brighton & Hove can be the city to lead on actively engaging with the major issues of our time – climate emergency, social inequity and tackling racism.

People taking part in the public poll, part of the consultation process, have told us they want the city to be greener and more accessible, inclusive, diverse, with 54% of respondents to the question in the poll ‘I wish Brighton & Hove was….?’, said ‘Greener’.

People talking at outdoor event, standing next to a table which features various different items.

Public Works, Park Products. Commission by the Serpentine Gallery, 2004. Photo credit: © David Bebber.

Brighton & Hove is home to the UK's only urban Biosphere, as part of the Living Coast, the Brighton and Lewes Downs UNESCO World Biosphere Region. It aims to be a Carbon Neutral city by 2030. High quality design is fundamental to delivering developments that positively respond to the city’s sensitive landscape, historic built environment and local priorities. This includes high quality public art and public realm.

The climate emergency affects everything and everyone on the planet. Art can be used to focus attention on these issues, question actions, be innovative and experimental. The ‘Wellbeing Economy’ recognises a need to restore a more harmonious relationship between society and nature. This strategy and accompanying Toolkit can contribute to the ways in which this objective can be embedded in practice.

All new public art will aim to meet the key criteria of quality, access, inclusion and sustainability. It will connect with wider ideas in the city, reflecting the people as well as the place. It should reflect the city - One landscape, Many Views.

3. Guiding principles

We keep asking: "How do we make work more inclusive?”... to me the way to do this is pretty simple. Do the work to find as many people as possible that are as close to the worlds or communities you are trying to include, and bring them into the heart of the work.” Consultation participant

The vision already outlined is underpinned by a set of guiding principles which are laid out below. Each principle addresses sustainability in different ways. This includes environmental, cultural, economic and social sustainability.

These principles are an essential checklist for anyone commissioning public art in Brighton & Hove.

  1. Inclusive and equitable: all processes and outcomes must be inclusive, fair and accessible. All work and contributions should be properly remunerated.
  2. Care and collaboration: prioritise connection and dialogue as well as relationship building and recognise that this takes time. Engage and connect communities emphasising learning, creative enquiry and confidence-building.
  3. Create opportunities for the unknown, risk and curiosity: provide time and space to test new approaches, materials and to experiment.
  4. It needs to be authentic: public art must always respond to the city or the people.
  5. Trust the artist: artists are skilled creative thinkers as well as makers. Trust their judgment, follow their lead and invest in their process.
  6. Aim for quality – of outcome and process: by not imposing academic art from an elite perspective but focusing on engagement and inclusion. 
  7. Nurture and enable the existing talent: but don’t exclude artists from elsewhere who have fresh perspectives on familiar places and can challenge our assumptions about what we believe to be true of a place.
  8. It’s art, it’s not necessarily representative or factual: public art can be used to question our histories and futures, mark a moment in time, generate debate and discussion.
  9. It need not be forever: be more adventurous and ambitious, push boundaries and allow artworks to capture the imagination of the public. Consider more temporary and time-limited work. Allow for removal (de-commissioning), relocation or reinterpretation.
  10. Legacy: make the maximum impact and the minimal environmental impact. All artists should address the environmental impacts of their artworks.

Two individuals admiring sculpture of an archway made from metal, leading into the pathway of a park.

ALTER, The Happenstance, Archway, 2018. Brighton.

The Happenstance, a pedestrian archway welcomes visitors entering at the southern entrance of The Level Park at St Peter’s Place. Funded by Section 106 contributions. It is made from mirrored stainless steel and incorporates names and faces of historical figures that have importance to The Level and Brighton & Hove emerging from the perforations. The images were chosen following consultation with park users.

4. Public art in the city

“Creating the opportunity to have a voice, you need to be able to walk a space and see yourself, recognise yourself, recognise your history, recognise your contribution to the space. In the short term, this can be done through a multi-sensory experience: physical and digital.” Consultation participant

Brighton & Hove is a dynamic and vibrant place, widely known as one of England’s best seaside resorts. Its layout is unusual with a series of successful high streets including The Lanes in the historic quarter, home to an eclectic mix of shops and restaurants. The city’s configuration is due to both the topography and the geography, bounded by the South Downs and the sea, combined with a heritage of leisure and recreation. The seafront is one of the most important locations and with the Royal Pavilion Estate, present an image to the world. Equally as important, the South Downs act as a natural barrier to the north of the city and provide an important backdrop.

Culture is central to the identity of Brighton & Hove and it is an important part of the economy. People like living in places with a thriving cultural and creative scene and that is especially true in the city. There is a wealth of established arts activity, from artist-led events and spectacles such as Laser Light City (2020), and the annual Burning the Clocks, to site-specific work as part of the Brighton Festival and My Place, and many other individual public art commissions which have a lasting effect on people’s perceptions and relationship with the city.

Yara Davina, Arrivals & Departures, 2021. Commissioned by Brighton Festival. Photo credit: © Summer Dean.

Brighton & Hove City Council owns a significant amount of cultural and heritage infrastructure and continues to preserve what generates a strong sense of place. The city is home to a cluster of Arts Council England’s (ACE) National Portfolio Organisations. Events, and the cultural industries which support them, draw in millions of people each year. 

The city’s creative reputation encourages employers and entrepreneurs to set up their businesses locally, and creatives at all stages of their careers are drawn to the city. The combination of these conditions is fertile ground upon which to further build Brighton and Hove’s reputation as an innovator in terms of public art commissioning.

Public art in Brighton & Hove is currently facilitated in 3 ways:

  • via the statutory planning process (artistic element, often small scale and mainly permanent)
  • commissioned by individuals, organisations, businesses or crowdfunding, and by the city council as temporary or permanent pieces
  • artists getting on and creating art, from sculpture on the beach, street art, film and digital work, to quiet interventions and subversions (often temporary).

These will continue to be the main routes for the creation of new public art through the lifetime of this strategy.

Large tent lit up in blue in a fielded area at sunset.

Ryan Gander, Solid and Hollow, 2019. Installed at The Green and The Gardens. Cambridge Biomedical Park, UK, 2019. Photo credit: © Courtesy the artist and Cambridge Biomedical Park. Photography by Charles Emerson.

5. Looking to the future

Public art can further enhance the city’s unique heritage, culture and natural assets as well as becoming a vital part of creative placemaking. When the public art process engages local residents in dialogue, sparking discussion about the values, history, and culture of their community, it connects people more deeply with where they live. It also enables exploration of sensitive issues such as racial justice.  This public art strategy embraces these ideas and lays out how the city can become a leader in the field of public art and creative placemaking.

Creative placemaking brings together partners from the public, private and community sectors to work collaboratively and strategically to shape the physical and social character of a neighbourhood, area or city around arts and cultural activities. In future public art commissioning is more than animating space and streetscapes and improving business vitality, it is about bringing people together to collaborate and participate, celebrate, inspire and be inspired.

We understand the role of culture in building and sustaining communities. Over the next decade we will work include arts and heritage funding bodies, further and higher education and schools, healthcare providers, the voluntary sector, the creative industries and businesses, to support communities to enjoy creativity and culture. We recognise the need to encourage personal creativity and to open up arts opportunities as fundamental to building an inclusive city.

Our collaborative approach, founded on strong partnerships with quality and ambition, inclusivity and relevance at their heart will provide a strong direction for our work. We plan to position public art as a core part of our aspirations for cultural placemaking, ensuring it plays an integral role in the city as it develops.

This will be achieved through 4 recommendations, each with an action plan.

Art instillation/sculpture, which is attached onto red brick building. Sculpture features spiralled metal following up from a spiral staircase.

Alex Chinneck, A spring in your step is a site-specific artwork which takes the form of a spiral staircase spectacularly springing apart in 3 directions across the facade of a building. Materials: Galvanised steel. Location: Market Square, Circus Street, Brighton. Contractor: Millimetre. Photo credit: © Marc Wilmot.

Strategy Objectives

A. Improve commissioning processes for public art

Enhance the practice of commissioning public art and improve the quality.

B. Support artists and vibrant places in neighbourhoods with collaborative projects

Support artists and collaboration. Improve residents experience and participation.

C. Funding public art

Improve the quality of the public realm.

D. Manage and maintain and promote public art

Improve the management of the city’s public art collection and awareness of public art.

6. Recommendations

The vision laid out in section 2 of this strategy will be achieved through the commissioning and creation of high-quality public art, meaningful community engagement and participation – with sustainability central to all of this.

This section sets out how the strategy objectives can be delivered over the next 10 years with short (within 3 years), medium (within 5 years) and long term (within 10 years) indicators. This should be seen as a framework to respond to changes in local and national policy-making. The recommendations should be reviewed after 2 years.

A. Improve commissioning processes for public art

Enhance the practice of commissioning and improve the quality of public art

A good commissioning process is the foundation for high quality sustainable artwork and the mechanism to ensure an equitable, transparent and enjoyable process for all involved. The PAN and Toolkit, outline best practice.

Through this strategy the council seeks to help facilitate the process of commissioning high quality public art by providing a coherent framework of advice for everyone involved. A key aim of this strategy is to improve the quality of public art in new property developments across the city.

Indicating success

The outcome of a successful commissioning process will be assessed according to whether it:

  • involves more diverse local artists
  • integrates or reflects the site’s history, identity or residents
  • is well-received by the community and visitors. Is seen to enliven the city and contribute to civic pride
  • complements a public space by including adventurous or challenging works by contemporary local and international artists
  • attracts critical acclaim from the arts sector

A. Recommendations and timescale

1. Develop a Public Art and Development Planning Advice Note and Public Art Toolkit for developers and commissioners, highlighting the importance of quality, access, inclusion and sustainability for public art.

Timescale: short term

2. Develop guidance for Art on Hoardings and Street Art

Timescale: medium term

3. Appoint appropriate staff resource to support public art commissioning - assist with drafting Supplementary Planning Documents (SPD), Planning Conditions, S106 Agreements and Planning Briefs. Advise developers and other commissioners on local community groups, artists and arts organisations.

Timescale: medium term

B. Support artists and vibrant places in neighbourhoods with collaborative projects

Support collaborative and participatory projects which are meaningful to all involved

Multidisciplinary and effective working between artists and developers from the earliest stages in the planning process is key to success. These relationships are central to public art being embedded in a development, rather than being an add-on at the end or being relegated to a set of gates or seating elements.

It is important that curators and design consultants can support artists during the commissioning and delivery process. Increased training for curators and artists will support emerging talent, diversify and increase the number of artists working in the public realm - in terms of artistic background as well as (but not exclusively) ethnicity, age, gender, disability and sexuality.

Temporary projects and events allow artists to define and re-define the physical nature of the city and its impact on our senses. Opportunities for temporary art to activate city spaces should be encouraged. Co-design and co-fabrication can enliven places, providing artists and communities a way to define the character of their neighbourhoods and the city as a whole, bringing people together to create and celebrate their neighbourhood.

The commissioning process should be used to discuss the nature of place, its use and users:

  • inclusion
  • exclusion
  • space for older people
  • space for young people allowing for collaborative
  • participatory and multidisciplinary practices where appropriate

New cultural infrastructure could include pavilions and space for cultural activities, designed and built by the relevant communities. Temporary (or meanwhile) interventions can spark ideas, strike up conversations and create new spaces in which the ‘art of the possible’ can occur.

Indicating success

The outcome of successful collaborative commissions will be assessed according to whether they:

  • increase engagement with the local community in the development of public art and, where appropriate its creation
  • attract people to locations that they might not usually visit or that offer new viewpoints of the city
  • enlivens neighbourhoods, contribute to local civic pride and is well received by the community and visitors

B. Recommendations and timescale

4. Support artists and the development of vibrant places in neighbourhoods with collaborative projects that help to improve residents’ experience and participation.

Timescale: short term

5. Develop a policy for all major developments to produce an arts or public art strategy, including an education element or programme.

Timescale: medium term

6 Encourage collaborative projects and multidisciplinary action research with Universities and others – with a focus on ecology, art and sustainability, building on Living Coast initiatives.

Timescale: medium term

C. Funding public art

Improve the quality of the public realm

The council has identified several major development projects due to complete in the next decade across the public realm, infrastructure, transport, healthcare, leisure, industrial, housing and regeneration areas. There is no consistent way in which public art is included in new developments so new and sustainable funding partnerships or mechanisms across the city will be required, in addition to maximising the opportunities of Section 106 contributions and Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL).

Opportunities exist with arts and cultural organisations to share expertise, resources and programme ideas for funding public art projects. The city council is unable to accept funds from private philanthropic organisations or others to deliver significant public art projects. The leading stakeholder in Brighton and Hove’s public realm is the council. The identity of the city relies heavily on the council’s success in supporting national, regional partners and key stakeholders in providing projects and events in public spaces. Recognising this key role, the city council will continue its consultative approach, working with a range of stakeholders to create experiences in the public realm based on principles of inclusion, and developing projects that make art available to everyone.

Brighton & Hove could lead the UK in pioneering the first smart use for public art funding derived from CIL, which truly delivers social, cultural and environmental value. This could involve creating a public art fund, which could be allocated across new public artworks, events, activities and projects and (where relevant) support the ongoing maintenance of existing works. The development of a formal framework for new and alternative funding opportunities should be a priority in 2022 to 2023.

Indicating success and timescale

The outcome of successful funding models will be assessed according to whether they:

  • enable the implementation of key partnership projects
  • facilitate an increased number of partnerships with Higher Education institutions, cultural organisations and other key stakeholders
  • embed inclusive principles to create accessible public art projects and experiences in the public realm.

C. Recommendations and timescale

7. Engage with council departments, landowners, developers and businesses for discussions on temporary activities and interventions, including meanwhile uses.

Timescale: short term

8. Identify projects and sites at an early stage where public art opportunities can be discussed with developers (pre-planning). Highlighting activities throughout the design and construction process.

Timescale: short term

9. Explore finance opportunities and partnerships to access diverse and alternative longer-term funding for public art projects and programmes. This could include Local Enterprise Partnership funding; using match-funding against the CIL and Section 106; exploring options to create an arts, culture and heritage fund through the CIL, including a budget for public art and maintenance.

Timescale: medium term

10. Encourage collaboration between academia, the cultural sector and local community organisations to deliver skills, business and entrepreneurial training to support arts and cultural organisations and the wider community. Establishing new relationships, bringing students and artists together.

Timescale: longer term

D. Manage, maintain and promote public art

Improve the management of the city’s public art collection

Many Brighton & Hove residents have a strong attachment to the artworks in the city’s public spaces. The preservation of these works, in situ, is of importance to the council. The Brighton & Hove public art collection includes all new permanent and temporary works commissioned by the city. The collection is augmented by public art commissioned by others through S106 or other processes and is the responsibility of the commissioner / land / site / building owners. Information can be found on the public art section of the council’s website.

Managing the collection includes monitoring and assessing artworks to ensure conservation or refurbishment of many historical works are carried out as funding allows. The city council’s policy guidelines and public art processes should be reviewed in order to maintain the collection in a culturally and environmentally sustainable manner. The original context of an artwork can lose its relevance over time and the relocation, de-commissioning or removal of an artwork should be considered if the work is no longer as the artist intended, has health and safety implications or has reached the end of its design life.

A successful public art programme is actively promoted to residents, workers and visitors. It is important to encourage creativity amongst young people, by highlighting public art in their neighbourhood and offering the opportunity to be involved in creating more - the city can become a gallery.

Indicating Success

The outcome of successful public art management will be assessed according to whether it:

  • reduces maintenance needs by restoring heritage items in a way that ensures their preservation into the future
  • collects more detailed information on artworks and makes this available to the public
  • increases the availability and use of public art resources and in themed walking, cycling tours and artist-led tours.

D. Recommendations and timescale

11. Undertake an audit of Brighton & Hove’s public artworks, including monuments, plaques (incorporate the existing list) and street art.

Condition and long term maintenance considerations are part of this audit.

Timescale: short term

12. Encourage others to give tours and involve the city’s residents in an ongoing dialogue about public art in the city.

Timescale: medium term


A number of values describing public art and Brighton & Hove were raised during the consultation:


  • Belonging – to feel accepted and comfortable in a setting irrespective of age, genders, race, sexuality or income
  • Empathy – the ability to recognise and understand the feeling and point of view of another
  • Inclusion – the acceptance of difference and the intention to involve diverse opinions, attitudes and behaviours
  • Respect – a mutually earned and shared honouring of different opinions, behaviours and cultural expressions
  • Tolerance – the acceptance of difference
  • Trust – to promote a confidence earned through the demonstration of fulfilling commitments and promises made between people and organisations


  • Delight – creating places, spaces and processes that promote happiness and joy
  • Happiness – a state of wellbeing that brings about, contentment, ease or joy
  • Hope – the possibility of fulfilment of a desire, aspiration, outcome or happiness
  • Inspiration – the result of creative thinking and collaboration that has the potential to produce new and innovative outcomes


  • Diversity – an intentional state of mixed people, institutions and cultural norms
  • Spontaneity – the potential to allow for the unplanned, where individuals or groups can freely self-create processes, interventions, or activities


  • Authenticity – the recognition of physical and social characteristics that are genuine to a particular place or culture and promote this recognition within communities
  • Beauty – everyone’s right to well-made and well-designed environments
  • Character – features or attributes used to separate distinguishable qualities of a place
  • Pride – a respect and admiration arising from feeling good and confident about some place, space, act or relationship


  • Voice – allowing the articulation of different points of view and cultural norms to help shape decision making
  • Debate – the discussion of different voices and points of view in order to achieve greater inclusion in processes and decision making


  • Community – a group of individuals or collective groups having shared or common interests
  • Participation – the active engagement of individuals and community members in formal and informal activities, affecting social or spatial wellbeing
  • Togetherness – a sense of solidarity within and across groups


  • Equality – the provision of equal or equivalent distribution, status, rights, power and amenity
  • Equity – the distribution of material and non-material goods in a manner that brings the greatest benefit require to any particular community
  • Transparency – the openness of process, rights, and procedures through the sharing of knowledge, power and information 


  • Connectivity – the physical and social network that tie places and people together, providing contact and opportunity necessary for social well being
  • Access – the convenient proximity to, quality of or connectivity to basic needs, amenities, choices and decisions


  • Agency – enabling the confidence, rights and status of individuals to act on behalf of their own interests
  • Empowerment – to give formal authority of power to a person or collective group by promoting action or influence
  • Marginalised - groups and communities that experience discrimination and exclusion (social, political and economic) because of unequal power relationships across economic, political, social and cultural dimensions
  • Representation – a balance of a community’s or individuals desires, representation of their diversity, are present in the decision making process
  • Accountability – the acceptance of responsibility by individuals or collective groups to contribute to the creation and maintenance of just conditions for all


  • Sustainability – not being harmful to the social or spatial wellbeing or depleting resources, thereby supporting long-term social and spatial balance
  • Durability – the ability to remain strong and in good condition over a long period of time
  • Adaptability – the ability to change or be changes in order to fit or work better in some situation or for some purpose


  • Healthiness – a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing
  • Safety – an environment that minimises physical and emotional vulnerability and threats to wellbeing
  • Security – social and spatial conditions that prevent danger, exclusion and harm
  • Prosperity – the condition of being successful or thriving in terms social, economic, civic, cultural and health indicators
  • Wellbeing - the state of being comfortable, healthy, or happy.