Ambitious Brighton seafront plan given cross-party support

Posted On 27 Mar 2015 at 2:08 pm

All three parties today pledged their support for a new 10,000-capacity conference centre at Black Rock and the extension of Churchill Square to where the Brighton Centre stands.

Brighton Centre from Wikimedia Commons

Brighton Centre from Wikimedia Commons

The Brighton Waterfront project is a partnership between Brighton and Hove City Council and Standard Life Investments and Venue Ventures, which owns Churchill Square and last month bought the neighbouring Russell Road NCP car park for £13.3 million.

Today, all three parties publicly pledged their support for the project ahead of the local elections in May which could mean a different administration overseeing the scheme.

Green councillor Geoffrey Bowden, chairman of the cross-party project board, said: “The financial and legal side is moving forward really quickly and we anticipate that a formal agreement can be reached.

“We wanted to send a confidence-building message out that whatever flavour the council is after May, all three parties have signed up to this project.

Councillor Warren Morgan, the opposition Labour group leader and a member of the project board, said: “This project has the potential to deliver city-wide benefits as well as regeneration and investment, including new homes, jobs and apprenticeships in areas where it is sorely needed.

“We’re confident the project is exactly the sort of investment that will help the city continue to thrive and we remain firmly behind it.

“We’re also confident that the mix of private and public sector investment is the surest way to guarantee delivery.”

Councillor Vanessa Brown, an opposition Conservative member who also sits on the project board, said: “Securing private sector investment to help deliver major investment is the best way to secure the city’s future and its position as the regional capital, as well as to ensure we can compete with the best of the UK’s entertainment and conferencing centres, bringing business and jobs to the city.

“We are pleased that all parties are supportive of the proposal and welcome the positive way it has been received in the city.”

It has previously been reported that the plans are expected to cost at least £450 million and generate up to 2,000 jobs.

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