Brighton Festival in search of sponsors

A major festival is searching for financial backing.

Brighton Festival – the largest annual curated multi-arts festival in England – celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2016.

Last year’s sponsors included University of Sussex, Southern Water, Brighton and Sussex Medical School, London Gatwick, Mayo Wynne Baxter, Class of Their Own, Riverford Organic Farms, DMH Stallard, The Montefiore Hospital, Nutshell Construction Limited, Griffith Smith Farrington Webb LLP solicitors and GM Building.

Confirmed sponsors for 2016 include Nutshell Construction and SELITS.

Andrew Comben, chief executive, Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival said the registered arts charity has 34% of its operational costs covered by regular public funding,and needs to raise the remaining 66% needed to operate. He said that sponsoring the festival not only allows businesses to raise their profile, reach new customers by engaging with over half a million audiences and expand their networks, but also meet corporate social responsibility objectives by supporting the local community through outreach work.

He said: “I believe Brighton Festival has become part of the city’s DNA – one of the things everyone thinks about when they think of Brighton and part of the reason businesses and visitors want to come here. One of the most exciting thing is that the whole city gets involved, from our colleagues in the cultural sector to the city’s hotels and pubs. Together, we make sure the month is not only a cause for celebration, but also one that contributes tens of millions of pounds to our local economy every year.

“Bringing Brighton Festival together every year is an incredible privilege. We wouldn’t be able to present the sheer number of quality performances, installations and exclusive talks that make up Brighton Festival without the help of sponsors, many of whom also support the work of Brighton Dome year-round. It’s an exciting time for Brighton Festival as we look towards our 50th celebrations in 2016 – and with the help of new and returning supporters we hope to make it very special indeed.”

Comben said the Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival management was working with the employee’s trade union to establish a Living Wage.

He said: “We and the Trustees met recently to discuss this issue and are all very supportive of and committed to securing and maintaining a fair, competitive and affordable pay structure across the organisation. The landscape around the living wage has obviously changed significantly following the announcement that a National Living Wage will now be compulsory as from April next year. While we and the Trustees are supportive of getting the organisation to this point we are also committed to delivering more than the statutory minimum. We are now taking time to work through what this ruling means for us as an organisation and more broadly across the sector. We will continue to work with representatives from our recognised union (BECTU) in supporting our ongoing work in this area.”

Ben Copper, managing director, Nutshell Construction, said: “We are delighted to be renewing our sponsorship of the Brighton Festival during its 50th anniversary year. Sponsorship of the event gets us in front of potential customers, it raises our profile by associating our business with a gilt-edged brand and it makes real business sense – as well as giving us a chance to support the arts and our home town.”

John Keenan


John Keenan

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