The BN9 Creative Programme

The programme, organised into several strands, supported organisations to produce projects and events based in Newhaven. We supported the six awardees of the inaugural Newhaven Grassroots Awards 2022, who shared £15,500 to produce events and projects in the town. We also supported the Creative Newhaven group, the Newhaven Festival to develop their offer, Newhaven Arts Projects to launch their new art gallery, and kicked off events at the Sidings Courtyard.

Find out more about what happened in Newhaven in 2022 by scrolling down, starting with the six Grassroots awardees.

The Living Coast Undersea Experience

LCUE was an immersive experience delivered via a virtual reality (VR) headset transporting the user to the Beachy Head West Marine Conservation Zone. Lasting for around 5 minutes the participant is guided by a commentary to notice the creatures that live and pass through the watery world.

The Living Coast Undersea Experience photo: © Phoebe Wingrove

Newtopias photo: © Phoebe Wingrove

Photo Fringe
Newtopias was part of the tenth Photo Fringe biennale, a photography festival with national reach, based in Brighton. The project was part of the Real Utopias season which explored ‘how photography can help us imagine a brighter, greener, fairer world. Local residents were invited to share their visions for their personal and community hopes and dreams through the medium of collage and share that publicly in a street-facing exhibition in the heart of Newhaven.

Hospitable Environment

The grassroots funding enabled Hospitable Environment (HE) to refurbish the community bread oven in spring 2023. Once refurbished, Hospitable Environment hosted a series of bread making workshops and events. The oven is made out of cob, a natural building material which needs to dry in warm conditions.

Hospitable Environment photo: © Phoebe Wingrove

Newtopias photo: © Phoebe Wingrove

KDE Dance

Seaford based choreographer, film-maker and director of the Sussex Dance Network Katie Dale-Everett’s (KDED) project combined dance and motion capture technology to explore how play and movement can enable young people to connect in the virtual world, leading to positive outcomes in the real world. Two new works were developed, ‘Playscape: How to Build a Galaxy’, the interactive participatory experience and the short performance.

The project is on-going and part of a wider KDED research project, supported by Goldsmiths University and Arts Council England, using cutting-edge technology to enable real-time dance between dancers in different parts of the world.

Newhaven Youth Club (SCDA)

Newhaven Youth Centre youth club members produced Identity, a sharing developed from participating in a 6-week programme of workshops. The project participants all attended the SCDA youth club and the aim was to create a project in which the young people could express themselves and build their self-confidence. The project concept was developed in consultation with the young people focused on costume design, music recording and set design, were led by three artists, to explore a theme of identity, particularly in relation to ‘youth’ and ‘LGBTQ’. 12 young people participated over the life of the project.

Creative Force and Inroads Productions.

This project matched ‘Baby Boomers’ with ‘Generation X’ participants, to explore memories and perceptions of Newhaven and enable workshops at the Lewes Road Hut, involving dramaturgist Sara Clifford, and a local historian.

Other Projects we supported in 2022

Newhaven Festival

Newhaven Festival celebrates coast, culture, and community. Events take place all year round with a particular emphasis on September. The festival’s mission is to gather together all the creative talent and community spirit in Newhaven and celebrate with events that showcase our industrial heritage, established and emerging talent and growing townscape. One of the festival’s stand-out events this year was a talk by Andrew Graham Dixon at the Hillcrest Centre.

To find out more visit the Festival website

Andrew Graham Dixon photo: © Phoebe Wingrove

Artwork Ian Dawson
Photograph: © Phoebe Wingrove


Another one of our supported projects opened on Thursday 1 September 2022 – a new contemporary art gallery at 24 High Street, Newhaven. Run by Helen Turner and Nick Marsh from Newhaven Art Projects, the gallery and workspace will feature a rolling programme of contemporary art exhibitions from local, regional, national and international artists.

The programme started with LIFTOFF! an exhibition of Nick and Helen’s own work and continued into the autumn with ‘From the Studio’ and ‘The Wastemakers on Cornucopia Street’.

The gallery is supported by the Newhaven Enterprise Zone with thanks to Boutique Modern and Towner Eastbourne and is part of the BN9 programme.

BN9 Sea Magic

Sea Magic was an event produced at the Sidings Courtyard in Newhaven by 18 Hours. The Bexhill-based production company won a public vote, open to Newhaven residents only, and received financial, production, and marketing support from us to run a family-friendly event on Saturday 20 August 2022. The free event combined theatre, dance, live drumming, Hula-hoop classes, climate activism stalls, and the star attraction, a self-articulating mermaid in a snow globe and attracted over 600 people on a stunning sunny day.

Sea Magic Photo: © Phoebe Wingrove