The ABCD Plan for Cultural Recovery in Brighton & Hove identified five strands of activity, and the first year focused on Enliven Brighton, Engine Room and the Creative Communities Network. Details on all the project work so far can be found on Culture in Our City.
The final two strands – Space to Grow and the Creative Worker Income Guarantee – are now up and running with support from the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership and University of Sussex respectively.
Space to Grow
A programme to review the current options for creative space in the City, explore new models and maximise existing capital and organisational infrastructure.
The ABCD Plan identified a number of challenges and opportunities in relation to creative space in the city. The Space to Grow working group has now been established, to bring people together across stakeholder groups to have a joined-up discussion and look at short, medium and long term ideas and actions.
Three main areas have been identified for the working group to focus on,
- Protecting existing space and assets – what are the immediate threats and how might they be countered.
- Immediate / short term access to space – where are the potential opportunities, including meanwhile use; who are the groups who can respond in the short term and what support might they need; how can we improve access to information on things like rehearsal space.
- Looking at future development in the medium / long term – what is needed, from a number of perspectives, including what will help raise the national profile of the city and contribute to a long term vision.
The group has representatives from the creative & cultural sector, the commercial sector and the local authority.
Sarah Davies (Director, Creative Workspace Network)
Angela Dymott (City Architect) / Jessica Hamilton (Estates Manager, BHCC) – role share
Helen Gregory (Principle Planning Officer, BHCC)
Mat Hunter (Co-CEO, Plus X)
Adam Joolia (CEO, Audio Active)
Matt Kitson (Director of Estates, University of Brighton)
David Sheppeard (Executive Director, Marlborough Productions) / Faith Dodkins (Co-Director, The Spire) – role share
Arts Development Manager (new post holder being appointed)
The group is Co-Chaired by Adam Joolia and Mat Hunter and will
- Oversee the evidence gathering and research work being supported by Brighton & Hove Council and Coast to Capital LEP.
- Identify the gaps in the evidence base and guide the commissioning of research to fill those gaps
- Shape a process for identifying investment-ready projects, and identify an initial slate of those projects.
- Support the preparation of business cases and funding applications for future capital investments.
Recruitment of consultants to deliver the initial research will open at the end of the month and full details will be posted on Culture in Our City.
Creative Worker Income Guarantee
Part of the ABCD Vision is that Brighton & Hove will be a city that leads the way nationally for support of creatives and values their role in placemaking. The Creative Worker Income Guarantee is a research project testing the principle of valuing creatives as intrinsic to the brand of the city. It aims to explore and test what impact a targeted intervention in the form of an income guarantee would have on the careers and lives of the creatives involved, and what wider impact would be created in the short and long term.
Brighton has grown and benefitted from the creative community it has attracted, however with the high cost of living in the city and the impact of Covid 19 there is a further threat of losing talent and the unique creative offer the city holds. Inspired by the 1930s US Works Progress Administration, and existing Cultural Worker assistance programmes in Europe, this research initiative enables Brighton to take a bold step in recognising the value of creatives in placemaking, and whether a targeted intervention in the form of an income guarantee can prevent talented individuals from leaving the sector for more rewarding opportunities.
ABCD partners the University of Sussex are supporting some initial research into the viability of running a full pilot scheme, and BOP Consulting have been appointed to carry out the research. BOP Consulting is a global consultancy specialising in culture and the creative economy. They bring a wealth of experience and expertise and we are really excited to have them on board.
Follow the progress of both strands of work on Culture in Our City and for more information contact Polly Gifford, ABCD Programme Manager, [email protected]