Brighton’s Sea Life Centre is planning another revamp of the listed Victorian aquarium which will allow people to swim with some of its fishy inhabitants.
Surveys show that the ageing fabric of the building needs some extra attention, and so the centre has applied for permission to restore and refurbish the original arcades, the 20th century ocean display area (formerly the dolphinarium) and some back-office areas
But this will also allow it to introduce a snorkel and dive experience area, with the possibility it might also one day be extended to scuba diving.
Centre manager Max Leviston said: “Our intention initially is to create a snorkel experience similar to some of our other centres like Blackpool Sea Life and London Aquarium.
“It will give people the chance to come face to fin with some of the most amazing creatures of the deep as you snorkel amongst an array of sharks, rays, turtles and exotic tropical fish in our dramatic ocean display, but in a safe and controlled environment.
“The planning application is to create showers and changing facilities so we can ensure that this magical experience offers all the luxury that this premium event can possibly offer.”
In 2011, the centre was closed for a period while work to strengthen the Victorian arches and the entrance were carried out, with it reopening to the public in 2012.
The eastern end of the aquarium was then remodelled, with the Jungle exhibition reconfigured.
Editor’s note, February 2020: The Sea Life Centre has asked us to make it clear it no longer offers snorkelling with the sharks.
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