The City Series: Brighton

At ZUZU, we decided to do a series of short articles on the cities we love to work in. We hope to be able to share some interesting facts you may not have known, information about the culture, history and people living there. We’ve already explored Glasgow and Dundee, next up is...Brighton!

Just an hour’s train journey from England's vibrant capital London, sits equally as spirited Brighton, also known as “London by the sea”. One of the UK’s most popular seaside towns, Brighton welcomes on average 9.5 million visitors every year.

In Brighton, there is plenty to see and do. You can ride on the oldest operating electric railway in the world (Volk's Electric Railway), spend the day at the beach, enjoy some traditional British seaside fish and chips, go shopping on The Lanes, visit the Royal Pavillion, attend a theatre show, exhibition or gig, plus much, much more. 

In 1997, Brighton was still considered a town when the local council merged with neighbouring municipality Hove, to form a united authority now officially called “Brighton and Hove”, also known as “Brighton”. Brighton didn’t become a city until three years later in the year 2000 when it was decided that every town with ambitions to become a city could apply for the city status. Each applicant had to meet specific standards within each criterion which included: notable features, historic and/or royal features and a “forward-looking attitude”. Brighton, Inverness and Wolverhampton were all approved which was formalised by Queen Elizabeth II during the millennium celebrations.

All these years later, Brighton is considered a highly desirable place to live and has become a magnet for artistic people and those who work in creative industries. Its demographic is also one of the youngest in the UK with the largest group of 20–40-year-olds.

With spectacular graffiti and street art, Brighton is a creative city and is also home to hundreds of independent shops and cafes. There are also more restaurants in Brighton and Hove than anywhere else in the country, with a ratio of one restaurant for every 250 people.

Brighton is widely recognised as the gay capital of Britain as it hosts the UK’s largest pride event every August and was the first city in Europe to host Trans Pride. It is also recognised at the “Green Capital” as it has a proud history of being eco-friendly and was the first area in England to elect a Green Party MP in 2011.

A recent study from Mashroom found 60% of workers in London said they are reconsidering their living situation and seeking a better quality of life due to the coronavirus crisis. Brighton and Hove proved to be the most popular destination, with 30% naming it their top choice to move to. 43% are craving cheaper living costs, while 42% said they wanted to be by the sea.

In 2020, Brighton was ranked second for "best place in the UK to start a new business" by Atos. The Research found the city performs 31.8 percent higher than average for successful new business start-ups.

The famous Swedish pop group ABBA launched their career in Brighton when they won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1974 with Waterloo at Brighton Dome. The arts venue still used today is linked to the Royal Pavilion Estate by a tunnel.

The Royal Pavilion is a true icon of Brighton and has a rich, colourful 200-year old history. It was originally built as a seaside palace for King George IV in 1780’s and has since been a civic building, WW1 hospital, and the palace is now one of Brighton’s top attractions.

It must be in the name - a seaside town that is bright, vibrant and eco-friendly. With millions of returning visitors each year and working-from-home/work-from-anywhere rapidly becoming the new normal, it's no wonder more and more people are considering moving to Brighton full-time.

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