Culture East Sussex (CES)

Culture East Sussex (CES)

About Culture East Sussex

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 (2013-23) 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.

Culture East Sussex board

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

Ben Hook and Melanie Powell, Rother District Council

Dawn Badland, Applause Rural Touring

Diane Lewis, Sussex Police

Graham Peters, Team East Sussex

James Adler, Ashdown Forest

Jayne Tyler and John McPherson, Arts Council England

Jenny Williams, Take the Space

Joe Hill, Towner Eastbourne

Kate Adams and Helen Charlton, Project Artworks

Laura McDermott, The Attenborough Centre

Leanne O'Boyle, Sussex Archaeological Society

Liz Gilmore, Hastings Contemporary

Mark Hendriks, East Sussex County Council

Michaela Ross, Independent Artist

Nathaniel Hepburn, Charleston

Peter Chivers, Brighton Dome

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

Trevor Beattie and Anooshka Rawden, South Downs National Park Association

Victoria Conheady and Kevin Boorman, Hastings Borough Council

Applications to join the board will open in Autumn 2023.

Culture Priority Pipeline

The Culture Priority Pipeline (CPP) is a pipeline of projects that align to the priorities of East Sussex’s Cultural Strategy (2013-23) 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.

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. These dates are:

  • March 2nd
  • May 16th
  • September 13th
  • November 29th

Culture East Sussex documents

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

  • 11th October 2022
  • 10th January 2023

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 2023.

Terms of reference

CES terms of reference were updated in 2022:


The East Sussex County Council Culture Team