The West Pier seafront arches officially opened today following a £5million refurbishment.
The city council began the project to rebuild, strengthen and refurbish the Victorian arches in November 2012, between Alfresco and the West Pier.
The work was needed due to Victorian structural deterioration, causing cracking and subsidence of structural elements; and allowing rain to leak into the arches below.
The Lollipop Shoppe – Contemporary Gifts and Interiors, www.thelollipopshoppe.co.uk
Brighton Photography – Photography gallery, www.brightonphotography.com
Banana Louis – Hair Studio, www.bananalouishairstudio.co.uk
Bailey Alexander Gallery – Art Crafts and Jewellery, www.baileyalexander.co.uk
Small Folk Run – Children’s clothes and interiors, www.smallfolkrun.com
Mia Beach – Knitting and crochet specialist and ladies clothing, www.i-foundyou.com
The Hat Hut – Hats, bags and accessories
The arches will be lit at night with lights programmed to produce sweeping blues, whites and sea greens to represent waves.
The lighting scheme was designed and installed by Urban Projects who are the lighting design company behind the award winning Bandstand lighting scheme visible from the West Pier Arches. www.urbanprojects.ltd.uk
Click on play below to hear one of the new traders, Mars Miller, artist and founder of clothing brand Artist Anon Brighton, talk about setting up shop
The seafront arches work is part of the council’s long-term seafront strategy designed to encourage business and enhance the city and will complement other work taking place in the area, the centre piece of which is the i360.
Premises to the west of the former West Pier have now been rebuilt using a reinforced concrete frame and roof, together with ornate brick facades.
The brick arches themselves have been fabricated off site and brought in. All the bricks have been specially made by Ibstock following the careful mapping and surveying of the old façade. Many new bricks are special non-standard shapes and sizes.
New wooden frames, doors and windows have been made by Seth Evans Joinery near Worthing. Iron railings above have been re-cast from moulds dating back to the 1880s.
Council Project Manager Leon Bellis has worked closely with the design engineers, Amey, architects Solar Architecture and the contractor C J Thorne. Council conservation and planning experts, together with English Heritage, have been closely involved to ensure authenticity.
The first phase of the works is now complete, delivering 26 new arches which provide 10 double-arched business units or artists’ studios; plus a newly refurbished seafront toilet block at the eastern end, which opened last month (on 27 June).