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5 Minutes with Southern Water's CEO Ian McAulay 

A long-standing supporter of Brighton Festival, Southern Water are generously supporting the community-led events Our Place and the Children's Parade, as well as the Without Walls programme this year.

We speak to the CEO of Southern Water, Ian McAulay to learn more about their involvement with the festival and the importance of community.

As the theme of this year’s festival is care, what does care mean for you?

Caring about the community is about people and the environment, so we’re very proud to support this festival. As a water company, working with our customers every day we understand the importance of caring about people, such as supporting our vulnerable customers. As well as caring for people, it’s also great to see how the festival is committed to sustainability and care for the environment, as we recognise that looking after the natural resources that we rely upon is vital.

What events are you sponsoring and what’s your involvement?

We are proud to be supporting the Children’s Parade again and have loved the new ideas from the artists about how to celebrate the event safely. We’re also supporting the Without Walls programme throughout the festival, including Yara + Davina’s public artwork Arrivals + Departures, as well as Our Place which celebrates the communities of Hangleton and Knoll, East Brighton and Moulsecoomb and Bevendean.

You have been a long-time supporter of Brighton Festival, why was it important for you to get involved again this year?

The festival is always a great opportunity for everyone to enjoy the wide range of activities on offer. It’s particularly important this year that we can all take part in the arts and culture scene that we have been missing. Through this festival, we can also support the amazing people who provide creative talent as well as those who organise this fabulous event. We hope people will take advantage of the opportunities available to be a part of this fantastic festival. 

What has been your favourite highlights from previous years?

I was fortunate to be able to enjoy a mesmerising performance called Backbone, by the Australian circus company Gravity and Other Myths a few years ago. My wife also saw Flight at the King Alfred centre, which she said was one of the most moving and innovative shows she has seen.

What are you hoping people will enjoy most about the event you’re involved with?

This is a chance for the community to come together through arts and culture. Celebrating together in a safe way will not only be enjoyable for us, and it will also help the city to come back to life as a community, with arts and culture at its heart.