The World Reimagined

Date of Meeting:

16 September, 2021

Report of:

Executive Director, Economy, Environment & Culture

Contact Officer:


Synthia Griffin

Donna Chisholm





Ward(s) affected:









1.1         The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted both racial and social inequalities with movements such as Black Lives Matter gaining significant momentum during 2020. The city has a unique opportunity to be part of The World Reimagined; a national arts education project, contributing towards racial justice work and transforming how the city’s residents understand the impact of the Transatlantic Slave Trade on the UK.


1.2         The World Reimagined organisers are calling for a culture shift, they believe that for too long, the history of the Transatlantic Slave Trade has been untold, unheard, or mistaught. They recognise that in the UK, we celebrate with pride the Trade’s abolition - but the people who were enslaved and their descendants; Britain’s role in the Trade’s creation; and the Trade’s devastating legacy are usually missing from how history is told. They believe that we are living in a key moment for racial justice and it calls on us to courageously face our shared history with honesty, empathy and grace. The mission of The World Reimagined is create a new future in which all can say: I am seen.


1.3         The World Reimagined will see trails of up to ten large artist designed globe sculptures in cities across the UK in Aug-Oct 2022, which will bring to life the reality and impact of the Transatlantic Slave Trade. The globes will be created by both established and undiscovered artists.  A substantial education programme will offer free online resources for primary and secondary schools.


1.4         This report seeks approval for the city council to become a partner in The World Reimagined and join the other host cities Bristol, Birmingham, London, Leeds and Swansea by taking part in this national programme.


2.         RECOMMENDATIONS:    


2.1       That the committee authorises officers to negotiate with The World Reimagined organisers to determine implementation, project delivery and levels of support as appropriate.


2.2       The committee authorises officers to commit up to £160,000 of funding over the course of 2021/22 and 2022/23 to the national programme and to a programme of work involving local communities and organisations in the city.


2.3      That the final decision on becoming a partner is delegated to the Executive Director of Economy, Environment and Culture, subject to agreement on a project plan for The World Reimagined in Brighton and Hove.





3.1         In 2020 the council pledged to become an antiracist city and to actively dismantle racist structures and challenge racial inequality. Partnerships are in place with Black and Minority Ethnic communities and local groups to directly shape the anti-racism strategy through their lived experiences and diverse perspectives. The Anti-Racist Community Advisory Group has been established. As part of that work, all services are being called upon to do all they can to work towards the city becoming anti-racist. Supporting programmes such as The World Reimagined acts as a platform to celebrate and share racial justice work in a new way, prioritising open and respectful collaboration.


3.2         Brighton and Hove is an ethnically diverse city. The last census compiled in 2011 showed that one in five residents in Brighton and Hove is black or minority ethnic and identifies as non-white British. We know that the city has experienced a growth in its population since then.


3.3         The World Reimagined is a vibrant project that will inspire and instil pride in what it means to be black and British. It will challenge racial discrimination, illuminating history and contemporary society in a way that is accessible to all communities. Its high-profile founders include singer and actress Michelle Gayle and Dennis Marcus who is a human rights professional. Ambassadors include Baroness Lola Young OBE, Baroness Floella Benjamin DBE and Kwame Kwei-Armah.


3.4          Organisers have secured funding from Esmee Fairbairn for a community co-ordinator to be appointed in the early development of the project for each host city.

The tenth Globe in each city will be designed by an artist in collaboration with community groups local to the trail, ensuring the trail is steeped in place and community. The organisers have outlined the key benefits for host cities which include:


·         the creation of an artistic programme through an open call to design globe specific to the city

·         an education programme

·         a community programme which is support by community grants

·         a digital platform

·         the delivery a trail of ten large globe sculptures

·         An extensive marketing and promotional campaign – with media partners Sky.


3.5         From the council’s allocated budget, a dedicated community grants programme will be established.  This will award small grants totalling £50,000 for local groups from all backgrounds to celebrate their history and diversity, responding to the city’s wider anti-racist strategy.


3.6         Careful consideration has been given to the legacy of the project and work is taking place with Communities, Equalities and Third Sector Team to ensure positive connections with a proposal being developed to explore the colonialarchitecture and the significance of street names and monuments across the city with academics and community partners.


3.7         The World Reimagined in Brighton & Hove will be significantly supported by the national fundraising and programme development, benefitting from the scale of the initiative across eight UK cities.  For context, the budget for the project nationally will be between £2.1m-£3.2m, depending on ultimate level of funding raised.   Even at the minimum scale budget of £2.1m, the value of the Brighton & Hove programme (1/12th of the national activity, with a total of 8 host cities and 5 trails in London) is £175,000. If the project reaches its maximum national budget of £3.2m, the Brighton & Hove programme value will be £267,000.   A budget breakdown of the council’s contribution is detailed in paragraph 7.1 below.


3.8         The partnership with each participating city involves hosting ten large globes (1.4m x 1.7m) for ten weeks between Aug-Oct 2022. One of the ten globes will be developed by a local artist and engage the city’s artistic community. An education programme will offer schools the opportunity to create their own globes (1.3m) in response to specific education resources that will be offered, as well as a tailored digital platform that enables visitors to engage with the main trail.


3.9         The positioning and promotion of the ten large globe sculptures is being delivered in partnership with Wild in Art. They are one of the leading producers of spectacular, mass-appeal public art events. Since 2008 Wild in Art has animated cities across the world and created trails for the London 2012 Olympics, the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Historic Royal Palaces and Penguin Random House.  Their events have attracted 7 million additional visitors to host cities worldwide, contributing over £1.2 million to local creative communities enabling £10 million to be raised for charitable causes.


3.10      This is a new, largescale project for the city similar in format to the Snow Dogs public art trail which saw sculptures placed across the city in 2016 and Snailspace in 2018 helping to raise funds for the Martlets local charity. Please see the link for more information about the Snow Dogs project   it raised £310k for Martlets and contributed £10.1 million to the local economy. Supporting The World Reimagined will help to address some of the strategic priorities outlined in the Tourism Recovery Plan 2021-23 in terms of improving the look and feel of the city and helping to extend the season. At the end of the project, The World Reimagined will auction a large number of the sculptures to raise money to support the community co-ordinators in each city staying in post for a further year, make it possible for the learning programme to continue to become freely available and for people and organisations doing important work for racial justice. Council Officers are exploring ways of using the sculpture trail to leverage in funds for future diversity and inclusion projects. 




4.1         This is a unique initiative which seeks to broaden the city’s dialogue on issues connected to racial justice and the history of the transatlantic slave trade, which still shapes the UK today.  The project also contributes to the city’s Culture Recovery Plan, approved by the TECC Committee in January 2021. 


4.2         The World Reimagined organisers are ambitious in their desire to deliver a step change through a comprehensive schools and community learning programme. The ten themes which will be explored throughout the project include ‘Mother Africa’, ‘The Reality of Being Enslaved’ and ‘Still We Rise’. A dedicated digital platform will be created, with a specific trail map for Brighton and Hove that can also highlight local places of significance and relevance; local sponsor activations; connections to a curated set of community organisations working on racial equity, relevant history and local events.


4.3         The knowledge and commitment of the project organisers, combined with the resources they will bring to ensure successful outcomes, makes an alternative option for delivery difficult to envisage.    The options are to proceed with this initiative, subject to a successful project plan being agreed, or not to be a host city for The World Reimagined in 2022.




 5.1     Consultation has taken place through a cross party briefing with politicians and ward councillors. Members of the Anti-Racist Community Advisory Group have had one-to-one meetings with the Arts Development Manager and have been invited to a briefing with the organisers of the World Reimagined on 6th September. The Communities, Equalities and Third Sector Team have led an informal consultation process by phone as well as in person with key stakeholders across the city that are representative of the diverse communities that live and work in Brighton and Hove. Current feedback gathered so far indicates that community leaders are supportive of the project, wanting to ensure that there is a legacy and that opportunities for involvement are maximised through the local grant programme. An ongoing dialogue will be maintained to ensure they are supportive advocates of the project.


5.2       The World Reimagined organisers have appointed a community co-ordinator specifically for Brighton and Hove.  This person will work with organisations across the city in the lead- up to the project commencing and will deliver activity during the time the sculptures are on display. The Equalities and Arts Development team at the Council will work together with the co-ordinator to identify key organisations that are working with diverse communities on issues of racial justice and arts across the city. The schools programme will help to reach a wide demographic and engage teachers and students in engaging the learning programme.


5.4       The project organisers intend to auction all of the sculptures after they have left the host cities to enable the community coordinators to continue their work for 12 months and to support organisations across the host cities. They intend to support the work of racial justice projects and organisations across the UK including organisations in Brighton and Hove through the revenue generated from the sale of the globes towards the end of the project.


6.            CONCLUSION


6.1         Becoming a national partner in The World Reimagined arts education has the potential to attract national profile for the city, further boosting our reputation for tolerance and inclusivity.   Participation in the programme will help to advance and build on the significant work in progress to support the city’s ambition to become anti-racist.  The additional funds for community groups and artists is a welcome addition to the Culture Recovery Plan which is current in delivery across the city. 




Financial Implications:


 7.1     In order to bring The World Reimagined to Brighton and Hove, the council is required to commit £0.160m. The project will cost the council £0.085m (£0.050m fee and £0.035m underwriting of sponsorship).  The remaining £0.075m the council will spend in the city on community grants and legacy projects. Funding of £0.160m to support this project was approved by Policy & Resources committee on 1 July 2021 from the 2020/21underspend.


            Finance Officer Consulted:     James Hengeveld                        Date: 31/08/2021


Legal Implications:


7.3       The Council will enter into a contract with The World Reimagined and officers will therefore need to obtain a waiver of the Council’s Contract Standing Orders. The value of the contract is below the relevant threshold and the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 do not therefore apply.


            Lawyer Consulted:                   Alice Rowland                               Date: 31/08/2021



            Equalities Implications:


7.6      This committee report has been written in conversation with the Equalities team and Arts Development team. Full consideration has been given to identifying opportunities to support and advance the work of both teams ensuring the project reaches the widest audience across the city.


            Sustainability Implications:


7.7      All events and programme of this nature are planned and staged in accordance with the statutory powers and planning obligations as set out in the Outdoor Events Policy.


7.8      The World Reimagined is being delivered in partnership with Wild in Art and will comply with a range of measures required by the Council as part of the our Outdoor Events Charter.



Brexit Implications:


7.10      There are no identified implications.



8.0       Any Other Significant Implications


            Crime & Disorder Implications:


8.1      Sussex Police will be involved in the planning of all events.   


            Risk and Opportunity Management Implications:


8.2      The City’s Safety Advisory Group has an overview of all the events that take place in Brighton and Hove that have the potential to attract significantly large numbers of people. A protocol and good working partnerships between the council and emergency services are in place in the city and close agency working will be integral to both the planning and delivery of these events. 


8.3      Event-specific Safety Advisory Groups can be convened for all major outdoor events taking place in Brighton and Hove.



            Public Health Implications:


8.4      Events can contribute to a sense of community, local pride and cultural identity which can have a positive impact on the well-being of those involved.









1.    The World Reimagined Outline Proposal



Background Documents


1.    None