Culture, Heritage, Sport, Tourism,                               Agenda Item 57

and Economic Development Committee    


Subject:                    Creative Destination Vision & Strategy


Date of meeting:    7th March 2024


Report of:                 Executive Director for Economy, Environment & Culture


Contact Officer:      Name: Chenine Bhathena




Ward(s) affected:   All


For general release


1.            Purpose of the report and policy context


1.1.       This report sets out the rationale for preparing a new 10-year Creative Destination Vision & Strategy. This will be a unique place-based strategy, that will present a 21st century view of our city’s distinctive credentials renowned for its broad cultural and leisure offer, the creativity of our people and businesses, global position and as an important UK destination.  The city’s creative identity for innovation, ideas, alternative thinking, pleasure and leisure, iconic coastal geographical location and strong transport connections has always drawn people to the city.  This strategy will mark a generational opportunity to write a new chapter in the City’s history.  To be the city of tomorrow.


1.2.       The Creative Destination Strategy will celebrate, promote, and support the city’s unrivalled history and heritage, its world-class arts and culture, its booming creative industries, its position as a leading centre for conferencing and major events, and its outstanding restaurants, cafes, hotels, pubs, and bars to UK and global visitors.


1.3.       It will set out a vision for the city to strengthen its identity as a world-leading leisure and business destination for UK and global visitors, workers, and residents to enjoy. This long-term strategy will align with and support the wider policy developments, the corporate plan, the new Economic Strategy for Brighton & Hove and wider regional visitor economy initiatives.


1.4.       The new Creative Destination Vision & Strategy will be fair and inclusive, engaging with visitors and communities. It will encompass all geographical areas of the city, including the silent majority. It should be owned by the whole of the city, not just the council, bringing together industry sectors. The report outlines the proposed approach and indicative timescales for its development.


2.            Recommendations


2.1      That Committee agrees to the development of a new Creative Destination Vision & Strategy.


2.2      That Committee agrees the proposed approach and indicative timescales to

develop the new Creative Destination Vision & Strategy and notes that the final draft strategy will be reported to committee for approval. 



3.            Context and background information


3.1         We recognise that two of Brighton & Hove’s biggest economic contributors are the creative and visitor economies. This strategy will seek to understand the correlation between these sectors and ensure that the social impacts they generate are embedded, to maximise the opportunities they present. By approaching this strategy from a holistic place-making perspective, we can ensure the city experience is authentic, inclusive and representative of the radical creativity of Brighton & Hove.


3.2         This strategy will seek to understand what makes our creative and tourism industries so vital to our city. It will set out all the ingredients that will be necessary to ensure that we underpin our future success to continue to be a vibrant 24/7 creative destination for businesses, visitors, students and people wanting to live, work, study and invest in the city. It will also, for the first time, seek to look at the whole city as a destination and consider how we encourage locals to enjoy the city like visitors, and visitors to enjoy the city as locals.


3.3         In 2022, Brighton & Hove welcomed 11.47 million visitors, of which 1.5 million stayed overnight. The Visitor Economy was worth £880m in economic benefit and supported more than 23,425 jobs in the city, which equates to 16% of all employee jobs in Brighton & Hove. With induced and indirect spend the total value of Tourism was worth £1.27bn in 2022 (Economic Impact Assessment of Tourism, 2022). The economic impact estimates demonstrate that Brighton & Hove is getting close to a return to pre-pandemic levels of visitor volume and value.


3.4         The current Visitor Economy strategy ended in 2023, and our Outdoor Events strategy ends in 2024. Brighton & Hove last developed a Cultural Framework in 2018. 


3.5         Over the last 10 years, the cultural landscape of our city, our places and the spirit of our communities have become a vital part of city planning, night-time economy, branding and visual identity. Culture is central to why people come to live, work, study and visit the city.


3.6         We are seeking to set out a shared, ambitious placemaking vision for Brighton & Hove, which will underpin the city’s vibrant identity as a leading creative coastal city in the UK. This ambition will require a strong partnership between the public and private sector, to deliver a strategy that will be dynamic in nature and flexible enough to capitalise on existing and new assets and opportunities.


3.7         The strategy will focus on building and strengthening the city’s destination credentials and working environment, understanding our 24/7 economy, and understanding the value of culture, creativity and major outdoor events, to our future growth. It will draw on the diversity and depth of our comprehensive and compelling offer, developing over-arching strategic initiatives to underpin and strengthen the infrastructure. Associated action plans will ensure that an ambitious vision for the city is translated into road maps for delivery.


3.8         The strategy will be commissioned and funded by Brighton & Hove City Council and will be co-created with stakeholders and communities within the visitor economy, culture, heritage, and creative industries. The Creative Destination strategy will be a guiding vision for all stakeholders and will include: a co-created shared set of values that are agreed as important to the sectors; recognition of where we are and where we want to be; and case studies of the many things we should celebrate.


3.9         The new vision and strategy will span a ten-year period from 2025 to 2035, incorporating associated action plans for the short/medium as well as horizon scanning and setting out ambitions for the longer term. It will build on the city’s strengths and role within an emerging pan-Sussex environment, supporting delivery of the ‘A City to be Proud Of’ outcome in the Council’s Corporate Plan 2023-2027. This outcome states that “Our goal is to develop a flourishing and inclusive local economy that attracts and nurtures businesses and talent.”. The new Creative Destination Vision & Strategy will link in with the Economic Strategy currently in development and other relevant strategies. We are in a unique position where we have a majority administration, and this is a key moment to be bold and forwarding thinking in our planning. The strategy will be refreshed in 2030 and aligned action plans updated and revised every 2 years.


3.10      The Creative Destination Vision & Strategy will take into consideration and align with the strategic priorities identified for the wider economic area, including the Local Visitor Economy Partnership (LVEP) and the new regional strategy for Creative Industries.


3.11      The Strategy will be local in its delivery and global in its ambition.  It will be informed by an oversight group of national stakeholders to ensure that the most recent thinking is reflected, and new ideas and practice developed to ensure Brighton and Hove is a trailblazer. This may include, but not be limited to, partners such as VisitBritain, Creative Industries Council, Arts Council England, Historic England, National Lottery Heritage Fund, Sport England, Association of Leading Visitor Attractions, Local Government Association and Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.


3.12      A tender document is currently in development and pending approval of this report from this committee, it will be released to relevant consultancies. A consultant will be appointed in Spring 2024 to deliver the Creative Destination Vision & Strategy, who will commence extensive engagement with communities and sectors throughout 2024.  A final draft will be brought forward for approval in late 2024/early 2025.


4.    Analysis and consideration of alternative options


4.1      It is considered imperative to prepare a new Creative Destination Vision & Strategy for the city to reposition itself and remain competitive, particularly in light of the pandemic, leaving the EU and the cost-of-living crisis, and the new opportunities and challenges facing the economy.


4.2      A cohesive strategy will align teams and departments within BHCC and external stakeholders and communities in identifying overarching objectives, emphasising a common purpose that transcends individual agendas.Without which we would risk continued silo working and the inability to best support, sustain and strengthen the creativity of the city.


4.3      Individual strategies could be commissioned, as previously, but this would only serve to embed siloed working, missing an opportunity to create a shared bold ambition, and may ultimately be less time and cost effective. We will involve communities in the co-creation and ownership of the strategy and vision, ensuring local voices are heard and that residents have a say and a stake in the development of our destination’s future.


5.            Community engagement and consultation


5.1        We are asking the consultant to detail how they will develop this strategy   through new and fresh approaches to engagement including citizen assemblies, leadership and collaboration with our different business, creative, educational, and residential communities.  We want this vision and strategy to reflect views of businesses, workers and residents, to be co-designed and co-owned, so that we can ensure that key priorities are heard and set out clearly so that collectively as a city we can realise the key ambitions. A central pillar of the strategy process will be engagement with sectors across the city. The intention is for those involved in the process to genuinely influence the direction and detail of the strategy.


5.2       It will be key that the strategy is seen as city wide, not just based on the views of BHCC.  It must join up across private, public, third sectors and engage existing forums as well as seek to create new forums. The new strategy will be developed in partnership with Brighton & Hove Destination Experience group, East Sussex, Brighton & Hove and West Sussex Local Visitor Economy Partnership, VisitBrighton, the Culture Alliance and other relevant stakeholders. There will be a period of consultation with businesses, public and third sector stakeholders. The appointed consultants will be required to engage with stakeholders in the city and region.


5.3       Initial conversations have been held with members of the Culture Alliance, Destination Experience Group, the Local Government Association, Night-time Industries Association and Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport policy department. All have been supportive of this fresh approach to creating a distinctive place-based creative destination strategy.


6             Conclusion


6.1       The new Creative Destination Strategy will articulate a 10 year vision for the City and be co-created and owned by city stakeholders and communities. It will be monitored against a Theory of Change and reviewed after five years to ensure we capture achievements as well as renewing the action plans every two years.


6.2       A clearly articulated vision will be owned by city stakeholders and

accompanied by a comprehensive strategy with associated action plans that will ensure that the city is better able to respond to changes in the sectors and capitalise on opportunities as they arise.


6.3         The strategy will be informed by an audit of current work and strategies and will iterate a clear step change in ambition to be recognised as the best creative small city in the UK.


7        Financial implications


7.1  The proposed procurement process is subject to compliance with the council’s  Contract Standing Orders and Financial Regulations.


7.2 The consultancy costs associated with the development of this strategy will be determined following the tender process. Works would be due to commence in Spring/Summer 2024. Available budget has been identified within the current 2023/24 financial year that would be requested for Carry Forward into 2024/25 to support the consultancy costs in developing the strategy. Should the carry forward not be agreed the consultancy costs would need budgets identified in the 2024/25 financial year. Any significant variations to budget will be reported as part of the council’s monthly budget monitoring process.



Name of finance officer consulted: John Lack    Date consulted: 26/02/2024


8             Legal implications


There are no direct legal implications arising from the recommendations made in this report. The procurement process referred to at paragraph 3.12 of this report will need to be in compliance with the Council’s Contract Standing Orders.


Name of lawyer consulted: Siobhan Fry       


Date consulted (26/02/24):


9             Equalities implications


9.1      A key principle in the new Creative Destination Vision & Strategy will be to support ways to promote inclusive cross sector growth in the city to ensure that no one is left behind.


10          Sustainability implications


10.1 The Creative Destination Vision & Strategy will need to be mindful of the   environmental impacts of growth and consider the Circular Economy.


11          Other Implications


Social Value and procurement implications


11.1      None


Crime & disorder implications:


11.2      None


Public health implications:


11.3      None