Cultural Collaboration between three major local organisations established

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New cultural collaboration for Brighton and Hove

Press Release

5 December 2014

Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove City Council BN1 1EE

A new partnership between three major local organisations has been established with the aim of fostering opportunities to work together – through education, research, arts and heritage – to enhance the experience of visitors and those who live, work and study in Brighton and & Hove.


The Royal Pavilion and Museums, Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival, and the University of Brighton have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to promote collaborations across areas including humanities, education, business and engineering, and business functions including marketing, communications, fundraising and IT.


The aim is to form a national and international model of excellence in university/cultural sector collaboration, to build on existing relationships and to maximise partners’ roles and the city’s cultural assets. Ambitions for the development of the Royal Pavilion Estate and nearby Circus Street are one of the catalysts for the partnership and will provide potential for exploring some of the proposed ideas


In a joint statement, the partners said: “Together, we offer the biggest arts festival in England, the largest gallery spaces in the city, a wide ranging public programme spanning high-quality performance, music, dance, fine art, history, and public debates.


“While the city is big enough to foster vibrant arts culture, we are small enough to build on local networks without being overwhelmed.


“This partnership is exceptional in bringing together a strong research base, an historical site rich in collections, archives and venues, and a wide-ranging public programme of arts and heritage events which presents us with a set of unique opportunities both for joint research and novel ways to share the impact of our work.”


Janita Bagshawe, Director of Royal Pavilion and Head of Museums, said: “We are entering a new phase of planning around the role we all play in the city, both geographically and in terms of our public programmes. This partnership between the Royal Pavilion and Museums, Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival, and the University of Brighton, is central to that strategy.


“We think Brighton and & Hove is unique, and this partnership aims to showcase that uniqueness to a local, regional and international audience.”


Andrew Comben, Chief Executive, Brighton Dome & Festival, said: “By working more closely together across education and research, a public arts programme, and world-class heritage sites and collections, we hope to make the cultural heart of the city an even better place to live, work, study and visit. 


“This isn’t just about working on exciting new activities, though that is a large part of the partnership – it’s also about the nuts and bolts of how we can work together on our infrastructure and the way we do things. We believe that we can only benefit from a much closer way of working, both publicly and behind the scenes.


“Brighton & and Hove has so much going for it, and so much going on, that it can be hard to know where to start. Our aim is to work together to make sure that we are doing the most valuable work with students and schools, putting on the most engaging arts events, and showcasing the city’s significant cultural assets in the best way that we possibly can.”


Professor Julian Crampton, the University of Brighton’s Vice-Chancellor, said: “I am delighted that we are working in partnership with the Royal Pavilion and Museums, Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival to provide opportunities for our students and staff to have access to and be engaged with the best cultural and artistic activities that the city can offer.


“It also means that the University of Brighton is playing its part in making the city and our campuses stimulating, engaging and safe places for our students, staff, partners and the wider community.


“With our work on the Circus Street and Preston Barracks developments, and our activities further afield in Hastings, Eastbourne, Burgess Hill and the Gatwick Diamond, this is the perfect time to explore new partnerships and ways of working.”


Photo of Janita Bagshawe, Professor Crampton, and Andrew Comben signing the Memorandum of Understanding in the Royal Pavilion’s Music Room
Janita Bagshawe, Professor Crampton, and Andrew Comben signing the Memorandum of Understanding in the Royal Pavilion’s Music Room

For more information, contact:

Emma Robertson

Head of Press and PR
Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival

T: 01273 260803/ 07813 521104


Corinna Allen

Head of Media Relations

Brighton and Hove City Council
T: 01273 291031


Phil Mills

Senior Press Officer

University of Brighton

T: 01273 644756


Royal Pavilion & Museums

The Royal Pavilion & Museums is one of the largest museum organisations in the south east. It is responsible for the city council’s historic buildings open to the public and nationally and internationally significant collections. These historic sites, the quality of the collections, exhibitions, learning and community engagement programmes resulted in 696,000 visits in 2013-14.


Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival

Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival manage a year round programme of arts at Brighton Dome – a three space, Grade 1 listed building made up of the Concert Hall, Corn Exchange and Studio Theatre – and produces the annual Brighton Festival in May. It aims to champion the power of the arts, to enrich and change lives, and to inspire and enable artists to be their most creative.


University of Brighton

The University of Brighton is one of the most popular universities in the country in terms of student applications. It has a distinguished history going back to 1859 when its first classes were established in the Brighton Royal Pavilion. It was the first university to be named the Sunday Times ‘University of the Year’ and it won the ‘Outstanding contribution to the local community’ title at the Times Higher Education Awards. In 2011 the university won further international recognition for its community projects through the MacJannet Prize for Global Citizenship. An independent report in 2014 calculated that the University of Brighton contributes close to £700m annually to the economy and supports more than 7,000 jobs. Over 21,000 students study University of Brighton programmes from foundation degrees to doctoral research programmes. Courses span a wide range of academic and professional disciplines, and the university receives national and international recognition for its research activity.


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