Creative, Cultural, Digital and Media Task Group

This task group straddles two important sectors: creativity and culture and digital media. . Both of these use a range of media including print, audio, video and online. 

East Sussex is considered as a hub for these sectors, with a number of clusters across the county. The Task Group champions employability and skills to address the strategic priorities for these sectors.

The Task Group includes employers from including:

  • De La Warr Pavilion
  • Tech Resort
  • Glyndebourne
  • Bark Web Ltd


There are also representatives from education and training including:

  • East Sussex College Group
  • Culture Shift
  • University of Brighton
  • Sussex Council of Training Providers (SCTP)


The Group is jointly chaired by Kim Byford, Project Director, Talent Accelerator programme and Sally Staples, Cultural Strategy Manager of East Sussex County Council. 

Sally Staples Headshot
Sally Staples

Co-Chair Sally Staples, Cultural Strategy Manager East Sussex County Council

Sally Staples MA joined East Sussex County Council in 2012 as Cultural Strategy Manager. She was previously Head of the Kent County Council Arts Development Unit where she also managed the Kent Film Office.

Sally specialises in creating the strategic environment which allows the cultural sector to flourish. Sally’s involvement in the cultural sector has ranged from practitioner, facilitator, commissioner and writer to venue manager and performer. Her recent projects include:

  • South East Creatives (business support programme)
  • England’s Creative Coast (cultural tourism) and workspace development.

Task group update Autumn/Winter 2023

Members of the task group worked on the £200,000 bid to create a ‘Talent Accelerator’.  The proposal was endorsed by Culture East Sussex and the De La Warr Pavilion are the lead partner. The pilot had been in development locally and with colleagues in Kent and Essex.  Following delays due to the Covid pandemic, the ‘Talent Accelerator’  got going in earnest in late 2022 with DLWP the lead delivery organisation. 

The  'Talent Accelerator' focuses on creativity in context. A key component is supporting those who may not consider a career in the arts or creative industries, especially those who do not have family/friend connections or can afford to work as an intern or do work experience for free.  Another is the development of work experience and apprenticeships across a number of employers to increase exposure to a range of opportunities. It will work with children and young people from early years through to further education (FE) and also higher education(HE).

Priority tasks for 2024-25 are

  • Supporting the development of a Tutor Encounters event for the sector building on the successful 2023 construction sector event. The aim of these events is to upskill tutors (teachers, curriculum leads, tutors and career leads) so they can gain knowledge on a particular sector to help better advise and inform young people, as well as develop relationships with professionals in the sector.
  • Raising awareness of the impact of AI (Artificial Intelligence) on skills and job roles via an AI Skills Summit in 2024.

Creative and Digital Task Group meetings

Please find below the minutes of recent meetings.

Minutes are not available for publication until approved by the group members a the following meeting. Therefore minutes for March will not appear until after the meeting in September.

The next meeting of the group is on 15 March 2024. 

Contact Skills East Sussex  if you are a sector employer, training or education provider and want details. Other than your time, and occasional travel, there are no costs to joining Skills East Sussex meetings.  

If you wish to see minutes of a meeting not listed, please email Skills East Sussex and we will do our best to help.

Achievements in recent years

  • Secured £200,000 funding for the Talent Accelerator programme, led by the De La Warr Pavilion. Talent Accelerator is about creating a strategic step-change in creative and digital sector skills, careers and project-based learning. It is developing a more joined-up infrastructure between industry and education. This includes work experience, and a range of employer encounters such as careers workshops, events and assemblies. It is currently 18 months into the programme and has been overwhelmingly successful with positive feedback from industry and education providers. Further funding to build on the great work is currently being pursued.
  • Secured Ingenious funding which enabled Culture Shift project to deliver a project with Bexhill college, as well as taking on a digital marketing apprentice.
  • East Sussex Library Service and the County Council's Employment and Skills Team successfully carried out an European Social Fund (ESF) tablet loaning scheme. It helped 40 ESF participants from Brighton, Eastbourne, Hastings and Wealden during the pandemic lockdowns. TechResort highlighted need for more donations of hardware to repurpose and loan out.
  • Representatives from the task group worked with the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) Digital Skills Partnership. The partnership comprised stakeholders from across the South East to increase awareness and access to digital skills training across the region.
  • Members of the task group supported the Open Doors venture ‘Into Games’, which was new in 2019-20. Ninety students from 9 schools took part in an engaging workshop focusing on the production of a game at the De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill. The workshop was based on groups of young people running their own ‘studio’. Students took on different roles – designer, marketing, programming, studio assistants – and came up with an idea for a game. INTOGames launched the new Games for Schools project. It provides £1.5 million worth of free Game Maker 2 software and resources for secondary schools to set up games clubs.
  • Introduced job role videos on the Careers East Sussex website during 2022, including programmers and software developers, marketing professionals and copywriters and cyber security officers.