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8 March 2019

Outdoor Events Strategy

We will be introducing an Outdoor Events Charter – the first in the country – as part of a new Outdoor Events Strategy for the city.

In a recent consultation, 84% of those who responded agreed with proposals for a Charter, which will require organisers to ensure that their events make a positive contribution to the quality of life for communities and the local economy. This includes looking after the environment and minimising disruption.

The Charter includes a commitment to sustainability, such as not using single use plastic (strongly supported in the consultation results) and re-using and recycling wherever possible. 

What the new strategy will do

A new five year strategy will help shape the future of outdoor events in the city and build better relationships between event organisers, residents and businesses.

Councillors approved the Outdoor Events Strategy at the Tourism, Development & Culture Committee on 7 March (agenda item number 74). Councillors also voted six to four for a further report to be brought back to the committee to consider any additions to the strategy. 

The Outdoor Events Strategy has been has been drawn up following a public consultation which attracted 145 responses from residents, visitors, community groups and local businesses.

Outdoor events in the city

Brighton & Hove is well-known for the variety and quality of its festivals and events - the city holds around 250 every year. Many of these are free and use public spaces such as the seafront and parks, as well as cultural places such as the Royal Pavilion Garden.

These events play a significant role in the city’s visitor economy which, in 2016, was worth £886 million. They also support 21,760 jobs.

The income generated from fees charged for commercial events in parks and open spaces contributes to the costs of the council’s Outdoor Events Team and enables charitable and community events and free public entertainment to be supported at reduced rates across the city.

Our new Outdoor Events Strategy looks at the current programme of events and aims to provide a greater focus on the quality, distinctiveness and impact of events; balancing the benefits while minimising any negative impacts.

Consultation results

From the consultation results, 90% of those responding agreed with the key social, cultural, economic and sustainability benefits of hosting events in the city. 

There was also support for the development of a winter festival brand.

81% (118) of those responding agreed with the objectives of the strategy which are to:

  • Enhance the city’s national and international profile and reputation
  • Attract visitors to the city all year round 
  • Benefit businesses in the city
  • Encourage civic pride
  • Develop the city’s events sector
  • Connect people with the natural environment
  • Improve the sustainability of events

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