SIMON Cowell has given his backing to a new festival.

The X Factor judge and music industry tycoon has been appointed the founding patron of the Design Brighton festival.

The festival, which will run from April 1 to 4 next year, aims to celebrate “urban design” and the rejuvenation of the area.

While 59-year-old Cowell is best known for managing acts such as Westlife and One Direction, Sussex is close to his heart.

His family hail from the village of Ovingdean, Brighton, and Simon’s brother John is the

co-founder of Design Brighton.

Simon’s father, Eric, was involved in the original development of Brighton Marina, which celebrates its 40th anniversary next year.

Design Brighton will see industry experts and businesses come together to discuss the roles design plays in making Brighton the hub it is.

Speaking of his involvement with the festival, which will release venue details in the coming months, Simon said: “Brighton holds a very important place within our family because of my mum and dad and the time they lived in Brighton.

“It has always been a special place for me and my family as they absolutely loved living here.

“So, I’m obviously thrilled to be involved with Design Brighton.”

Brother John said: “It’s fantastic to have Simon on board, which will really boost the profile of the festival.

“As a family we have always been involved in property development and design – and I’m not just talking about television talent shows.

“Design Brighton is a chance to put something back into an area which means a lot to us all.

“Brighton is a special place with so much potential.

“Our vision is to create a leading design week celebrating the built environment of the region and to promote its global reputation as a city which has design and diversity at its core.”

Simon Cowell started his career in the music industry in the 1980s and has signed various big name acts to his record label.

In 2001 he began his reality TV career as a judge on Pop Idol and three years later he started The X Factor.

The show has spawned acts such as One Direction, Little Mix, Olly Murs, Leona Lewis and JLS.

Simon is currently worth about $550 million –£450 million.