Revamp plans for Royal Pavilion and Brighton Dome launched

Posted On 14 Nov 2013 at 3:49 pm
By :
By Jenni Davidson

Plans have been announced for a £35 million makeover of Brighton’s Royal Pavilion Estate.

The Brighton and Hove Independent will report tomorrow that the project is to include both vital repairs and restoration work and improvements to the buildings and gardens.

The Royal Pavilion Estate includes the Royal Pavilion, Brighton Museum and Art Gallery, Brighton Dome Concert Hall, the Corn Exchange, Brighton Dome Studio Theatre and the Pavilion Gardens.

The intention is to conserve the Grade I and II listed buildings and the historic gardens around them while reconnecting all the whole area back into one single estate.

This will make it easier for people to understand the history of the Pavilion Estate and encourage more tourists to visit.

The plans are being put together jointly by Brighton Dome and Brighton Festival and Brighton and Hove City Council’s Royal Pavilion, Museums and Libraries team.

Janita Bagshaw, Head of Royal Pavilion, Arts and Museums, said: “What we do now is good. Our ambition is to make it world class. We really need to pull up the game.”

Andrew Comben, Director of Brighton Dome and Brighton Festival, underlined the essential nature of this project.

“Although this is an ambitious and aspirational plan, it’s a really necessary one,” he said.

One of the most pressing problems is repair work that needs to be done to the roofs of the buildings – some of which date back to the 19th century.

If the work is not carried out, parts of the site will have to close in ten years, he said.

There has been concern about the future of the family-owned Pavilion Gardens Café if changes are made to the Pavilion Gardens.

Mr Comben confirmed that the café would continue to be in gardens, but not necessarily at its current location.

Consultation has already been carried out with users through thousands of face-to-face interviews and surveys with visitors to the gardens and the Pavilion.

There have also been focus groups with schools and young people and meetings with organisations such as English Heritage and the Regency Society.

These have identified a number of problems with the current layout and facilities.

One key issue that was raised was the lack of security and anti-social behaviour in the gardens, which makes people afraid to go there at night.

Related to that are problems with litter and broken glass on the ground.

The lack of modern visitor facilities at the Royal Pavilion was mentioned as a serious concern too.

The small ticketing area forces visitors to queue outside during busy periods.

There is also too little space to park buggies, poor educational facilities for schools and staff are working in cramped and poorly heated conditions.

The feedback also suggested that visitors to the gardens are often unclear about where they are or what they are looking at and that even locals often don’t know how the different buildings relate to each other.

This is exacerbated by the confusing variety of different entrances to the estate and shrubbery obscuring the view of the buildings.

Architects Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios have already worked on a feasibility studios and come up with some ideas for improvements.

The most significant suggestion is to build a new gateway into the Pavilion Gardens on New Road based on the architect John Nash’s design for a conservatory on the site.

A new boundary wall might be put up around the estate so that it could be shut at night to prevent anti-social behaviour.

Proposals for the Royal Pavilion include opening George IV’s tunnel between the Pavilion and the Dome to the public and if possible installing a disabled lift.

The Grade I-listed Corn Exchange – once George IV’s riding school – would also be restored and updated to better reflect the historic inside of the building and enable people to see in from outside.

However, these are all just initial ideas and this is the very earliest stage in a long project.

The Arts Council has already committed £5.8 million to the work but a great deal more money will need to be raised.

A bid will go in to the Heritage Lottery Fund by 29 November for development money and the result of that application should be known by May 2014

If successful, the lottery money will provide the funds to draw up full plans for the redevelopment, which will be shown to the public for consultation.

It is hoped to that work will start in 2016 and the redevelopment will be complete by 2019.

  1. saveHOVE Reply

    Read this from Facebook (permalink provided by Neil Schofield on twitter)and weep…. Jason Kitcat has tweeted that it is nonsense. But people with plans have been showing them, it seems…and conclusions have been drawn.

    In the wake of the Pavilion Gardens Cafe post on Facebook (below), very serious showing of hands and clear briefings to cllrs and the MP Caroline Lucas are needed.

    Pavilion Gardens Cafe · 1,388 like this.
    2 hours ago near Brighton, England ·

    Following today’s press releases by the Council/Dome/ Festival and words from Cllr Geoffrey Bowden at the E.D.C.C. meeting at Hove Town Hall it is all clear now.
    If the public do not oppose them in their numbers
    1. The gardens will be totally fenced off.
    2. They will charge you to enter for events (already confirmed).
    3. They will charge you or visitors to enter the gardens daily.
    4. They will demolish the Pavilion Gardens Cafe.
    5. They will construct a building on New Road as a retail shop i.e.new Pavilion shop for income and another to house a Cafe like the one at the level with a few indoor tables and a very limited patio. I emphasis NOT RUN BY US.
    6. At least three mature Elm trees (two Himalayan & one Jersey) will be cut down at the back of us bordering New Road.
    7. John Nash’s restoration in the 80’s and 90’s will be ruined in the cafe area even though the RP say the opposite. (I have the facts).
    8. Residents on lunch breaks, students and school children will not be welcome unless they pay.
    9. The other consequence will be New Road will become their main gateway into the Estate and they will fence off and close the other entrances so there will be no thoroughfares through the gardens on your way to work etc.
    10. The Royal Pavilion Estate in effect will be privatised and controlled i.e. the general public wont be welcome obviously unless they pay.
    11. This as they constantly say will stop anti social behaviour in an instance and give income and as they say sustainability.
    All these things in the gardens or at least some of them could be stopped by you if you all put your minds to it.
    It is up to you the wider public to say yes we want a private Royal Pavilion Estate (probably out of democratic control i.e. a board) like the Dome) with all the far reaching consequences or we want the gardens to be open to all, the Pavilion Gardens Cafe to continue serving its customers from its art deco building and residents to be deciding its future not a handful of autocrats at present. Two thirds of Brighton & Hove residents already oppose the fencing off of the Estate (this is data from their own surveys and on the record). The problem is when did that stop politicians changing the goal posts.
    The Heritage Lottery Fund can pay for improved gardens, another gardener or two, better refuse and litter collection, more and better managed security day and night and improved signage but we do not need it for everything else.
    Get the message out there.
    Email your Councillors, MP, the Argus, Brighton & Hove News, the Latest etc share this with your friends, comment on facebook, like our pages.
    It is worth noting again here The Friends of the Cafe will continue to support the Bid for money for the Royal Pavilion and the Dome and most of the gardens but not for the other things stated above.
    It is ‘up to you’ the public, the residents and the community to decide want do you want in the Royal Pavilion Estate you can support the Friends and community against these plans or live with the consequences for years to come.

  2. saveHOVE Reply

    Read this from Facebook (permalink provided by Neil Schofield on twitter)and weep…. Jason Kitcat has tweeted that it is nonsense. But people with plans have been showing them, it seems…and conclusions have been drawn.

    In the wake of the Pavilion Gardens Cafe post on Facebook (below), very serious showing of hands and clear briefings to cllrs and the MP Caroline Lucas are needed.

    Pavilion Gardens Cafe · 1,388 like this.
    2 hours ago near Brighton, England ·

    Following today’s press releases by the Council/Dome/ Festival and words from Cllr Geoffrey Bowden at the E.D.C.C. meeting at Hove Town Hall it is all clear now.
    If the public do not oppose them in their numbers
    1. The gardens will be totally fenced off.
    2. They will charge you to enter for events (already confirmed).
    3. They will charge you or visitors to enter the gardens daily.
    4. They will demolish the Pavilion Gardens Cafe.
    5. They will construct a building on New Road as a retail shop i.e.new Pavilion shop for income and another to house a Cafe like the one at the level with a few indoor tables and a very limited patio. I emphasis NOT RUN BY US.
    6. At least three mature Elm trees (two Himalayan & one Jersey) will be cut down at the back of us bordering New Road.
    7. John Nash’s restoration in the 80’s and 90’s will be ruined in the cafe area even though the RP say the opposite. (I have the facts).
    8. Residents on lunch breaks, students and school children will not be welcome unless they pay.
    9. The other consequence will be New Road will become their main gateway into the Estate and they will fence off and close the other entrances so there will be no thoroughfares through the gardens on your way to work etc.
    10. The Royal Pavilion Estate in effect will be privatised and controlled i.e. the general public wont be welcome obviously unless they pay.
    11. This as they constantly say will stop anti social behaviour in an instance and give income and as they say sustainability.
    All these things in the gardens or at least some of them could be stopped by you if you all put your minds to it.
    It is up to you the wider public to say yes we want a private Royal Pavilion Estate (probably out of democratic control i.e. a board) like the Dome) with all the far reaching consequences or we want the gardens to be open to all, the Pavilion Gardens Cafe to continue serving its customers from its art deco building and residents to be deciding its future not a handful of autocrats at present. Two thirds of Brighton & Hove residents already oppose the fencing off of the Estate (this is data from their own surveys and on the record). The problem is when did that stop politicians changing the goal posts.
    The Heritage Lottery Fund can pay for improved gardens, another gardener or two, better refuse and litter collection, more and better managed security day and night and improved signage but we do not need it for everything else.
    Get the message out there.
    Email your Councillors, MP, the Argus, Brighton & Hove News, the Latest etc share this with your friends, comment on facebook, like our pages.
    It is worth noting again here The Friends of the Cafe will continue to support the Bid for money for the Royal Pavilion and the Dome and most of the gardens but not for the other things stated above.
    It is ‘up to you’ the public, the residents and the community to decide want do you want in the Royal Pavilion Estate you can support the Friends and community against these plans or live with the consequences for years to come.

  3. Jenni Lloyd Reply

    The comment above contains many erroneous facts which the Dome has corrected here: http://brightondome.org/about/royal_pavilion_estate_news_and_developments/royal_pavilion_estate_-_further_questions_answered/#.UoYsm6uEV6Z.twitter
    There is definitely no plan to fence the gardens and charge admission!

  4. Jenni Lloyd Reply

    The comment above contains many erroneous facts which the Dome has corrected here: http://brightondome.org/about/royal_pavilion_estate_news_and_developments/royal_pavilion_estate_-_further_questions_answered/#.UoYsm6uEV6Z.twitter
    There is definitely no plan to fence the gardens and charge admission!

  5. David Sewell Reply

    I think you will find the Dome and RP have confirmed in their reply on the Cafe Facebook that there will be a perimeter security (permeable heritage)fence. They have also confirmed they will charge for certain events and this cannot be achieved if there is not a fence. The Pavilion Gardens Cafe will also be demolished if plans go ahead. These are undisputed facts.
    The main problem is there has been no consultation on any of the plans in the gardens this can be proved because they have only just announced the plans last Thursday at E.D.C.C. meeting for the first time.

  6. David Sewell Reply

    I think you will find the Dome and RP have confirmed in their reply on the Cafe Facebook that there will be a perimeter security (permeable heritage)fence. They have also confirmed they will charge for certain events and this cannot be achieved if there is not a fence. The Pavilion Gardens Cafe will also be demolished if plans go ahead. These are undisputed facts.
    The main problem is there has been no consultation on any of the plans in the gardens this can be proved because they have only just announced the plans last Thursday at E.D.C.C. meeting for the first time.

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