Culture East Sussex (CES)

Culture East Sussex (CES) is a network of cultural organisations and individuals that is hosted by East Sussex County Council. It is part of Team East Sussex (TES), a federated board of the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP).

Culture East Sussex works across four main areas, it:

  • is a collective voice for culture across East Sussex
  • supports and develops the skills of all people working in the cultural sector in East Sussex
  • promotes the diversity of the sector and ensures equality of access to culture in East Sussex
  • encourages collaboration and mutual support within the cultural sector and works with its partners across a range of themes of mutual interest.

Culture East Sussex vision and mission

CES believes that culture is a route to positive change, creates new possibilities and enables diverse communities to live well.

Its mission is to advocate for culture so that together CES can create opportunities for positive change for all of East Sussex.

Principles and priorities

The work of CES is underpinned by a set of principles that are as follows:

  • Strategic - CES supports and endorses projects that are strategically driven, long-term, and linked to broader strategic objectives
  • Skills - CES will support projects that aim to develop the skills and opportunities for people within the cultural sector
  • Diversity and inclusion - CES will endorse projects that have diversity and inclusion at their heart, capitalising on East Sussex’s diverse population, culture and heritage
  • Collaboration - CES will look favourably at projects that are partnership-led, build networks and exchanges and are cross-sectoral
  • Wellbeing - CES will support projects that put local people first and support their wellbeing through cultural engagement and education and demonstrate long-term sustainability
  • Sustainability - CES will champion projects that demonstrate long-term environmental and financial sustainability.

The priorities of CES are linked to the East Sussex Cultural Strategy (2013-25) which has three key priorities:

  • Priority 1 - Create an environment where great cultural experiences are available to everyone to enhance their quality of life
  • Priority 2 - Create an environment which enables the cultural and creative economy to expand and enhances the ability to attract and retain other businesses
  • Priority 3 - Develop and promote well packaged cultural tourism offers which celebrate the identity of East Sussex, raises its profile and attracts more visitors and businesses to the County.

Culture East Sussex (CES) is a network of public bodies, cultural organisations, and individuals that is hosted by East Sussex County Council. It is part of Team East Sussex (TES), a federated board of the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP).

Culture East Sussex works across four main areas, it:

  • is a collective voice for culture across East Sussex
  • supports and develops the skills of all people working in the cultural sector in East Sussex
  • promotes the diversity of the sector and ensures equality of access to culture in East Sussex
  • encourages collaboration and mutual support within the cultural sector and works with its partners across a range of themes of mutual interest.

Culture East Sussex vision and mission

CES believes that culture is a route to positive change, creates new possibilities and enables diverse communities to live well.

Its mission is to advocate for culture so that together CES can create opportunities for positive change for all of East Sussex.

Principles and priorities

The work of CES is underpinned by a set of principles that are as follows:

  • Strategic - CES supports and endorses projects that are strategically driven, long-term, and linked to broader strategic objectives
  • Skills - CES will support projects that aim to develop the skills and opportunities for people within the cultural sector
  • Diversity and inclusion - CES will endorse projects that have diversity and inclusion at their heart, capitalising on East Sussex’s diverse population, culture and heritage
  • Collaboration - CES will look favourably at projects that are partnership-led, build networks and exchanges and are cross-sectoral
  • Wellbeing - CES will support projects that put local people first and support their wellbeing through cultural engagement and education and demonstrate long-term sustainability
  • Sustainability - CES will champion projects that demonstrate long-term environmental and financial sustainability.

The priorities of CES are linked to the East Sussex Cultural Strategy (2013-23) which has three key priorities:

  • Priority 1 - Create an environment where great cultural experiences are available to everyone to enhance their quality of life
  • Priority 2 - Create an environment which enables the cultural and creative economy to expand and enhances the ability to attract and retain other businesses
  • Priority 3 - Develop and promote well packaged cultural tourism offers which celebrate the identity of East Sussex, raises its profile and attracts more visitors and businesses to the County.

The CES board works together to deliver the vision and mission of CES and ensure that the cultural sector creates opportunities and possibilities for everyone. They do this by managing the CES Culture Priority Pipeline, discussing topics of relevance and interest, and advocating for the sector.

How the board is chosen

Depending on the category, individual places are either:

  • chosen by an open competition
  • proposed by certain organisations in consultation with the nominations committee,  or
  • co-opted.

Board members serve for a three-year term and can be re-elected every three years. On appointment, all board members will receive an induction pack and will be required to complete a declarations of interest and protected characteristics form.

Appointments will be advertised online, and more information can be requested from the team.

Who is on the board?

The CES Board is made-up of up to 35 members. This includes representatives of cultural organisations, independent artists and freelancers, representatives from East Sussex County Council, Eastbourne and Lewes, Hastings, Rother and Wealden District and Borough Councils, Team East Sussex, the education and public health sectors as well as co-opted members to improve representation of people with protected characteristics under the Equalities Act, and other national or county bodies that support culture in East Sussex.

Current CES members are listed below. Please note  members that are listed together hold a shared membership.

Rupert Clubb, East Sussex County Council (Chair)

Ami Bouhassane and Andrew Penrose, Farley's House and Gallery

Anthony Kalume, Diversity Lewes

Ben Hook and Melanie Powell, Rother District Council

Dawn Badland, Applause Rural Touring

Jayne Tyler and John McPherson, Arts Council England

Jenny Williams, Take the Space

Joe Hill, Towner Eastbourne

Julia Roberts, Culture Shift

Kate Adams and Helen Charlton, Project Artworks

Laura McDermott, The Attenborough Centre, University of Sussex

Leanne O'Boyle, Sussex Archaeological Society

Liz Gilmore, Hastings Contemporary

Nathaniel Hepburn, Charleston

Peter Chivers, Brighton Dome

Phoene Cave, The Musical Breath

Robert Cottril, Eastbourne Borough Council

Sally Lampitt, Hastings Fat Tuesday 

Steph Fuller, Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft

Stewart Drew, De La Warr Pavilion

Teresa Salami-Oru and Darrell Gale, East Sussex County Council Public Health

Tim Slaney and Anooshka Rawden, South Downs National Park Association

Applications to join the board will be announced in late 2024.


The Culture Priority Pipeline (CPP) is a pipeline of projects that align to the priorities of East Sussex’s Cultural Strategy (2013-25) and principles of CES.

The pipeline allows CES to clearly identify projects that are investment-ready when significant funding pots become available. CES will then advise organisations of the opportunity and support the application, helping the cultural sector deliver the priorities of East Sussex’s Cultural Strategy.

The CPP is not a funding application or a bid. It is managed and kept updated by the Cultural Strategy Manager.

Culture Priority Pipeline Green Projects

Green denotes projects that are ready for funding with robust budgets, plans, and RIBA stage.

Hastings contemporary

Hastings Contemporary are looking to expand their premises with an extension that will help them achieve:

  • Free Access
  • More opportunities for employment and learning
  • The Greenest Gallery in UK

Themes of the project include:

  • Environmental impact
  • Skills and Education
  • Engaging local communities

The project is estimated at £4.8 million

The timeline of the project is: 2024 - 2026

Kent and East Sussex Railway (KESR)

As part of a train line extension between Robertsbridge and Bodiam, KESR will be operating a heritage railway from the main line to Tenterden, Northiam, and Bodiam. This project will bring visitors to key heritage sites in East Sussex. This project will help them achieve:

  • 20,000 more visitors to East Sussex
  • Opportunities for training
  • Greener, more accessible ways of travel

Themes of the project include:

  • Economic impact
  • Skills and Education
  • Restoration of heritage
  • Diversifying audiences

The project is estimated at £2.7 million

The timeline of the project is 2024 - 2026

Culture Priority Pipeline Amber Projects

Amber denotes projects that are well into their journey but have further work before they are ready to be funded.

Compass Arts

Compass Arts want to create pavilions in Gildredge Park in Eastbourne for artists who are face barriers to inclusion. The temporary structures will:

  • Provide studio space for artists
  • Provide rolling exhibitions for the community
  • Change public perceptions of art
  • Raise self-worth in adults

Themes of the project include:

  • Improving town centres
  • Skills and Education
  • Cultural tourism

The project is estimated at: £160,000

The timeline of the project is: 2023 - 2024

Bexhill Museum

Bexhill Museum are looking to expand their space with a new basement store refurbishment. This will create:

  • Storage space for new archaeological discoveries in East Sussex
  • Provide learning space for students
  • Create collaboration with local universities

Themes of the project include:

  • Engaging diverse audiences
  • Skills and Education
  • Cross sector working

The project is estimated at: £663,000

The timeline of the project is: 2025 - 2028

Add your project

To tell CES about an investment-ready project, organisations can complete a short project summary and explain how it will meet the principles and priorities of the Cultural Strategy and investment principles.

Our subcommittee meets four times a year to discuss projects. You will hear back from us after our next meeting. If you wish to send us a submission to review, please send the completed document to us a week before our next meeting. The upcoming dates are:

  • 6th March 2024
  • 26th June 2024
  • 9th October 2024
  • 22nd January 2025

CES meets quarterly. The dates of CES Board meetings for this financial year are:

  • 5th December 2023
  • 26th March 2024

CES board meeting minutes

Download the last minutes of the CES board meeting:

Annual statement

CES publishes an annual statement reviewing its activity for the year. The next one will be prepared for the end of 2023.

Terms of reference

CES terms of reference were updated in 2022:

Contact

The East Sussex County Council Culture and Tourism Team