Public Art Strategy

Date of Meeting:

25 November, 2021

Report of:

Executive Director, Economy, Environment & Culture

Contact Officer:


Synthia Griffin





Ward(s) affected:







1.1         The Brighton and Hove Cultural Framework supported by the Council in 2018 identified the need for a long term public art strategy as part of discussions led by the Arts and Creative Industries Commission.  In 2019 a consultant was invited to develop a ten-year Public Art Strategy which further strengthened the city’s reputation as a distinctive and creative place. The completed strategy will be used as the basis for future commissioning and will inform the Council’s priority actions and targets in relation to support for public art in the city.


2.         RECOMMENDATIONS:    


2.1      That the Committee approves the Council’s Public Art Strategy which is attached as appendix one.  Following approval, the strategy would be professionally designed.




3.1         The purpose of the strategy is to provide a framework for public art and it has been developed as a shared vision informed by community consultation. It lays out a definition for art in public places, with clear guiding principles and objectives which will help to re-affirm the long-term commitment of Brighton and Hove as a ‘city of creativity’. The aim of the strategy is to present an overall approach and recommendations for public art for the next ten years along with guidance on how best practice can be followed.


4.            Community consultation directly informed the development of the strategy including some of the key guiding principles.   In particular; a commitment to inclusivity and equality, care and collaboration, nurturing and enabling existing talent and legacy. An overarching commitment to improving diversity and inclusion through future commissioning has been outlined as a priority in the strategy.


4.1         The strategy will sit alongside the ABCD Cultural Recovery Plan (Dec 2020).  This plan has some immediate actions for temporary art interventions in the public realm including a creative wayfaring project, alternative tours of the city as well as monthly third Thursday events designed to animate key parts of the city with projections and music. Cultural recovery activities, for example through the Enliven Brighton working group, plays an important role in welcoming residents back into the city centre, involving them in a discourse about public space and offering experimental creative encounters.


3.4      This strategy has been put together following widespread conversation with people directly involved with public art, followed by a city-wide consultation. It will help to provide clarity to stakeholders in the public, private and third sectors concerning the city’s ambition for public art.  This in turn facilitates the attraction of new resources to support innovation and growth. It will be used by the Council to help prioritise its support for a range of activities, including the direction of any funds available.


3.5      A toolkit and associated Public Art Planning Advice Note (PAN), which is referred to in the strategy, will be brought to TECC Committee in January 2022.  These are designed to help artists, planners, investors and others to work more effectively together when commissioning public art. The toolkit provides a comprehensive outline of how to commission public art, including case studies, ways of working with artists, community involvement, guidance for commissioners and temporary interventions. It can be used as a way of building knowledge and capacity in the city and act as a guidance document for those wanting to commission work.


3.6      This PAN will illustrate how the current and emerging local planning policy framework can be implemented and sets out good practice examples to demonstrate how public art (artistic elements) can be successfully integrated in new developments across the city.


3.7     The public art strategy will be implemented through a series of projects and actions, such as artist-designed Welcome Signage for the city and the creative lighting of the Hove Beacon, which are current interventions.  The strategy lays out a series of short, medium and long term recommendations to be taken forward.




4.1      The city’s cultural sector is renowned but has suffered significantly as a result of the pandemic. The Council’s investment in cultural recovery during 2021/22 has been invaluable. This strategy will help to solidify the Council’s commitment to culture and recognise the importance of public art, in terms of creative place making. 


4.2         The alternative is not to define the Council’s strategic intentions to improve the quality and diversity of art in public places.  This will not help commissioners to adopt best practice in creating new public art and could lead to mediocre and unrepresentative interventions. The strategy aims to raise the quality and relevance of public artwork commissioned across the city and contributes to the Council’s commitments to being anti-racist, well as widely inclusive of diverse communities.





5.1      The process for the creation of the strategy has been inclusive and iterative. A series of workshops followed by a well-attended ‘digital campfire’, open events, action groups and stakeholder conversations, with some discussions including nationally significant cultural policy specialists have taken place as part of the development of the strategy.


5.2       The consultation comprised of a research process and policy overview, 43 conversations with council staff and cultural workers, five stakeholder interviews with artists and marginalised communities drawn from 10 community organisations with a film produced which has been viewed by 550 people and British Sign language dedicated discussions, community consultation events including a digital campfire attended by 90 people and a public poll led by Lighthouse with 250 respondents.


5.3       The themes of the public discussions reflected public art places and spaces, greening the city and being carbon neutral, public art and wellbeing, heritage and how we communicate that through public art, connectivity and community.


6          CONCLUSION


6.1         The Public Art Strategy provides a clear direction for the Council and its partners to build on Brighton & Hove’s track record as city that supports public art by identifying a clear model for commissioning public art going forward that fosters high quality design and excellence.


6.2         The associated toolkit and PAN for Council officers and commercial developers will be brought to committee in January 2022.  This will provide clear guidance to ensure and enable the commissioning of high-quality and relevant public art by as part of new developments across the city.




Financial Implications:


7.1         There are no direct financial implications arising from the recommendations of this report. The strategy includes exploring finance opportunities and partnerships to access diverse and alternative longer term funding for public art projects and programmes that the council will lead on.



            Finance Officer Consulted:     James Hengeveld                        Date: 21/10/21


Legal Implications:



            There are no legal implications arising directly from this report.


            Lawyer Consulted:                   Alice Rowland                               Date: 21/10/21



            Equalities Implications:


7.3         A formal Equality Impact Assessment has not been carried out but equalities has been a consistent feature as the strategy has been developed and it will be a significant consideration in the delivery.


            Sustainability Implications:


7.4         None


Brexit Implications:


7.5         None


Any Other Significant Implications:




            Crime & Disorder Implications:


7.5       None


            Risk and Opportunity Management Implications:


7.6       None


            Public Health Implications:


7.7       None


            Corporate / Citywide Implications:



7.8       The City Council’s Plan A fairer city, A sustainable future 2020 to 2023 promises to further establish Brighton and Hove as a clear leader of sustainable, built and natural environment, and ensure the continuation of its culturally vibrancy. The active inclusion of artworks, temporary interventions, installations and events all with a sustainable focus or approach are integral to the vision outlined in the strategy.







1.    One Landscape, Many Views. Public Art Strategy 2021-2031




Background Documents


1.         None