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Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival and Brighton & Hove Music & Arts to unite to create city-wide hub for creative and cultural learning

3rd July 2017

Two key cultural organisations are to unite to create a city-wide hub for creative and cultural learning.

The move – which will take effect from 1 July – will bring together the combined work of Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival, the arts charity who produce the internationallyimportant annual multi-arts Festival and manage the historic Brighton Dome, and Brighton & Hove Music & Arts, who deliver music education to children and young people across the city

By operating collectively, access to creative and cultural experience for children, young people, families, schools and communities will be significantly improved by enabling the service to lead city-wide initiatives. It will also create a more sustainable model with potential for expanding the service’s fundraising abilities.

The transfer has already been warmly welcomed by Arts Council, England and the National Foundation for Youth Music.

Brighton & Hove Music & Arts – which currently sits within Brighton & Hove City Council (BHCC) – provides music and arts education and performance opportunities for all children and young people across the city. Over 4000 children and young people are directly taught by the service each week. The service also leads on a range of major projects and events – such as SoundCity, Brighton & Hove’s Music Education Hub – which engage a further 3000 children and young people through live performances.

Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival presents over 600 events as part of its year-round programme, spanning music, theatre, dance, comedy, literature, spoken word, visual arts and more, and produces Brighton Festival, England’s leading and most-progressive mixed-arts celebration, each May. A hub for artists across the region, Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival commissions and supports both emerging and established artists and companies, enabling them to develop, take risks and deliver work of the highest quality. Both organisations already have a strong foundation of partnership work through SoundCity and other projects as well as the ‘Our Future City Programme’ which aims to improve the lives and chances of young people through cultural engagement and creative skills by developing a central portal to a range of activities across the city.

For people using the service there will be no significant changes as a result of the transfer.

Teaching staff will stay the same, as will:

  • In-school activities such as Soundmakers and instrumental / vocal lessons
  • Out-of-school activities such as the Music Centre, Summer School, tours and concerts including the Schools Christmas Concert
  • The venues for lessons, Music Centre activities and ensemble rehearsals.

The transfer has been agreed by the council as part of its overall modernisation process. The decision to confirm Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival as the council’s preferred partner followed a tendering exercise carried out in accordance with national regulations.

Andrew Comben, Chief Executive Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival said:

“This is a really exciting opportunity for us to extend the work that we already do at Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival with children, young people, schools and the wider community and to play a central role in the cultural learning of the whole city. Having one of the country’s most celebrated music services connected to us directly in this way provides us with a fantastic chance to not only become a centre for cultural learning but also to connect up artists, audiences and children in their creative work.”

Councillor Dan Chapman, Chair of Brighton & Hove City Council’s Children, Young People and Skills committee, said:

“This transfer offers enormous potential for expanding the service’s fundraising abilities. There are lots of different sources of funding that the service can’t get access to while it is under council control. The transfer will also mean the service is more closely linked up with the wider arts and cultural scene in the city. This is exciting because it will make it easier for the service to lead citywide initiatives for children and young people.”


For press information please contact:

Emma Robertson Head of Press and PR, Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival 01273 260 803