We did it! Not just me and the council – but the community, the city, residents, businesses and organisations coming together to act to save a valued part of our local heritage.
We hit the target for the Madeira Terraces crowdfunding campaign with more than 24 hours to spare and by a large margin.
I will not stop thanking Jax Atkins and her team of local volunteers, all of the artists, shops, small traders and others who donated prizes, everyone who bought tickets and the shops that sold them, raising an incredible £16,700.
Thanks to all the companies who responded to our request to donate and to the 2,000 residents, visitors and people who love Brighton and Hove who made individual donations.
This is just the beginning. Having raised £450,000 through crowdfunding we will now go ahead, as agreed on Thursday (30 November), with the Heritage Lottery Fund bid for around £4 million in funding to start the project.
This is alongside the proposed £1 million in capital support from the council.
Due to all the other calls on our funding, we have had to be innovative for this public place project.
By restoring an initial set of arches we can prove there is a demand for café, retail, office or studio space there that will support the multimillion-pound investment needed to complete the Lockwood Project.
Phillip Cawston Lockwood was the civic engineer who built the Madeira Terraces in the 1890s and I’m sure he would be delighted with the affection shown to his creation today.
I’d urge anyone interested in this restoration to look online at the Piece Hall, in Halifax, where Heritage Lottery Fund money was used to create an amazing public space.
We are using the people who brought that project to life to help create a vision for our eastern seafront.
Our past must be part of our future. Our public spaces must be owned by the community. The city has played its part to save Madeira Terraces and we are on our way. Thank you.
Councillor Warren Morgan is the Labour leader of Brighton and Hove City Council.