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Brighton Digital Festival receives Arts Council funding to support its future growth

We have some really good news regarding Brighton Digital Festival.  Many of you will know that Wired Sussex (together with Lighthouse) put in a bid some months ago to the Arts Council for funding to support the festival in 2012 and 2013. We have just heard that our bid has been successful

We thought it may be worth going into a bit of detail about what the bid covers (and what it doesn’t cover).

The bid was for £200,000 and, for logistical reasons, is weighted towards next year’s festival. It has 3 elements

First, it included funding for Wired Sussex to provide marketing and management support across the whole festival. Brighton Digital Festival is truly the product of a large number of grassroots events and activities delivered by the digital and arts communities (including many of you!) here in Brighton, and that definitely won’t change.  However, we know from last year that there is an incredible amount of work that is required to turn those individual events into a coherent festival – things like organising meetings, collating the events, answering questions and queries from event organisers, ensuring that the details get onto the website, creating communications collateral, marketing and promotion for the festival and much more. We expect to be hiring a Project Manager (see our jobs board shortly) to oversee that activity for the festival and have already brought in Luke Phillips (luke.phillips@wiredsussex.com) to help admin-wise

Second, the bid included the delivery of a digital arts programme. This will be curated and delivered by Lighthouse and – at very short notice - they are currently working on a programme for this year. I am sure that Lighthouse will be providing more detail about their programme as it gets confirmed.

And third, the bid also included a small sum for the delivery of activity to support an educational strand within the festival and both Wired Sussex and Lighthouse will be involved in that.

What the bid didn’t include was funds to support the individual grassroots events, though artists and organisations who think they may need funding can apply to the Arts Council’s Grants for the Arts. Those interested should go to: http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/funding/apply-for-funding/grants-for-the-arts/ . People who attended the ‘how to apply for a grant’ workshop at Lighthouse recently and / or are putting together applications and want to seek advice before submitting should contact Jon Pratty, Digital and Creative Industries Relationship Manager: jon.pratty@artscouncil.org.uk

We think that our grant will enable us to provided much needed coordination and support to this year’s festival and knowing that we also have funding for next year will give us all the opportunity to enable us to work together to create a festival which has real international resonance and helps grow the reputation of our city for creativity and innovation

But there is no festival to coordinate without the hard work, the energy and the enthusiasm of everybody who puts on the events themselves. So if you are putting on an event or are interested in talking about how to do so (or know someone who is), please submit your idea or get in touch to talk about it as soon as possible

If you have any other questions about our grant, feel free to ask.

About the author

Phil Jones

Hi, I'm the Managing Director of Wired Sussex, overseeing our strategy as an organisation and work to promote our membership and its needs to local, national and international stakeholders, including government.

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