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Brighton and Hove Food Festival organiser’s anger at funding awards
A row has broken out over the funding of community projects.
Digital firms have pledged to inspire young people with council funded programmes.
Brighton and Hove City Council handed out the money totalling £14,000 to the Brighton Digital Festival and Wired Sussex, among other community groups, claiming it will “pay for itself”.
But the organiser of a major food festival said the money had been allocated to groups that are already well funded.
Meanwhile, Arts Council England has invested more than £240,000 in grants towards the running costs of the 2012 and 2013 Brighton Digital Festival. The grants will help to fund an education programme that will support the national curriculum by offering teachers new opportunities to learn digital skills and inspiring families and young people using dig ital creativity.
Phil Jones, managing director at Wired Sussex, an association of dig ital organisations, said the funding is vital.
He said: “The digital cluster in Brighton is vital to the cities prosperity and Brighton Digital Festival has fast become a cornerstone in promoting our digital creativity to the world. “It’s the goal of the festival organisers to develop what has become the UK’s fastest growing digital festival into an event of international standing.
“The funding from the council will help us improve on the educational and community aspects of the festival, ensuring that everyone who wants to will be able to benefit from the digital expertise that resides here.”
Laurence Hill, director of the Brighton Digital Festival, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to have support from Brighton and Hove City Council in the form of the Arts Partnership Award.
“It’s fantastic to have recognition that the council believes, as we do, that the arts and digital sectors of our city are crucial to its continuing economic growth, and that the festival is a great way to highlight that.
“The award was only confirmed on Friday last week and therefore I can’t spell out any definitive plan for how we’ll use the money. I would say, however, that we would like to see the money spent on educational and community engagement activity and that’s what I’ll be pushing for.”
Jon Pratty, digital and creative economy relationship manager at Arts Council England, South East, said: “The digital and creative economy is one of the fastest developing sectors in the UK so it’s vital that we support our young people to gain the skills they’ll need to be a part of that growing workforce.
“Digital arts and culture have an important role to play in inspiring young people to gain those skills.”
But Nick Mosley, organiser of the Brighton and Hove Food and Drink Festival said: “It’s disheartening to see that existing well-funded organisations in the city are being awarded further money.
“I shall be seeking an urgent meeting between the festival directors and funding officers after the close of the Autumn Harvest festival.”