CMNH works with a wide range of local and community history organisations and projects to aid in their search for funding and to provide academic support, guidance and collaborative participation in the design and conduct of their research activities. Recently conversations and activities directed towards actual or potential funding bids have taken place with, among others, Brighton & Sussex University Hospital NHS Trust; Inroads Productions; Zap Arts; Brighton and Hove Palestine Solidarity Campaign; Lewes History Society; Pegleg Productions; QueenSpark Books; Sussex Traditions; Fabrica; and Strike a Light Arts and Heritage Organisation.

Successful partnerships that have secured grant funding include those with ART:synch on the ‘Crossing the Teas’ project, bringing together community groups in Brighton and Hove from diverse cultural backgrounds to share tea-drinking practices, histories and stories, which secured a Heritage Lottery Fund award of £50k in 2014–15; and, more ambitiously, and also supported by a HTF award, ‘Our Dancing Feet’, a collaborative research project with the local community-theatre specialists Sara Clifford (inroads productions) and Veronica Stephens (Zap Arts), leading to performance on the social history of dance halls and fashion in the 1950s. In the first phase, focused on the Regent Dance Hall in Brighton, Dr Sam Carroll trained a group of volunteers in oral history interviewing, transcription and analysis skills. The performance aspect included a projection of collected oral histories, dance and photographs on the side of Boots (where the dancehall once stood) and some interactive theatre based at Oceana’s nightclub over a weekend in November 2013. CMNH also organised and hosted a well attended seminar in November with presentations by historians Professor Claire Langhamer (University of Sussex) and Dr Jane Hattrick (University of Brighton) to an audience that included substantial numbers of interviewees. In a further phase, a similar process also involving Dr Sam Carroll, researching memories of The Winter Garden in Eastbourne, led to second event culminating in a performance at the venue over a weekend in March 2014.

Our collaboration with Zap Arts and inroads productions has continued in partnership with Gateways to the First World War with a successful application to HLF for for the Newhaven and Seaford-based oral history and drama project, ‘Home Fires. A haunting story of love and loss in the Great War’. The resulting production took place at Newhaven Fort on 18-21 March 2015. Through Gateways to the FWW we are also supporting the work of Strike A Light Arts and Heritage organisation on ‘The Orange Lilies’, an HLF-funded project to research and commemorate the men who fought and died in the Battle of Boar’s Head, 1916. Activities include the training of community researchers, the creation of a digital map of Brighton, to include biographical details of soldiers, and a range of public engagement and information activities. These include a public seminar on the First World War at the University’s City campus and a screening of the 1916 Battle of the Somme film at the Duke of York Picturehouse Brighton, both in November 2016.

In 2017 CMNH collaborated in a successful HLF bid with the Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals Trust for their “Managing a hospital archive at the Royal Sussex County Hospital” project. Dr Sam Carroll joined the project Steering Group and offered consultancy time. The project culminated in September 2019 in an exhibition, seminar, heritage artwork and a website hosted by The Crucible.

In 2021 Dr Deborah Madden was successful in securing AHRC funding for Census 2021: Using historical census data to highlight changing patterns in health, housing, employment and identityIn this collaborative project academic staff and students from the University of Brighton’s Humanities Programme co-designed a programme of creative learning sessions with Strike a Light – Arts & Heritage CIC for delivery in a range of educational, healthcare and community settings. Working with under-represented groups in Brighton and Hastings, the project team explored topics including how census returns changed between 1901 and 1911, the updating of questions in 2011, and the extent to which census data truly highlights key social, cultural, economic and political shifts.

Key awards by Heritage Lottery Fund and other community history funders, won, supported and partnered by CMNH include:






Sam Carroll

Arts Council England, Heritage Lottery Fund, Big Lottery Fund, Brighton and Hove City Council

Our Dancing Feet (with Zap Arts)



Sam Carroll

Heritage Lottery Fund

Crossing the Teas (with Art Synch)



Sam Carroll

Heritage Lottery Fund

The Boys on the Plaque (with Fabrica Gallery)



Deborah Madden

Hastings Borough Council

Visitor Experience at Hastings Castle



Deborah Madden

William Parker Foundation

History of William Parker Grammar School



Graham Dawson

Belfast City Council Small Grant Scheme

Lanark Way Community History (with Falls Community Council)


£9, 200

Sam Carroll

Heritage Lottery Fund

Sussex Traditions



Sam Carroll

Heritage Lottery Fund

Royal Sussex County Hospital: People’s History from the 19thto the 21st Century (with Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals Trust)



Deborah Madden

Census 2021