Blow for Madeira Terraces as Government turns down funding bid

Posted On 03 Apr 2017 at 11:47 am

Grand plans to restore and revamp Brighton’s crumbling Madeira Terraces have been dealt a blow with the news the Government has turned down a funding bid.

Fencing put up along Madeira Terraces. Image by Jax Atkins

Brighton and Hove council leader Warren Morgan this morning hit out at the decision, saying the Government had not even sent Brighton and Hove City Council an email to inform them.

The requested £4million in funding from the Coastal Communities Fund would have been used to repair the terraces and build new units so that businesses such as shops and cafes could attract more people to them, and the rents and rates would pay for their ongoing upkeep.

The council would also have contributed, and sought private investment funding too.

Cllr Morgan said: “It appears we have not been given the £4m funding for the Terraces restoration from Government we bid for. We have not even been given the courtesy of an email to let us know.

“I am bitterly disappointed and angry with the Government. Yet again they have let us down, first they failed to invest in our rail infrastructure, now they are failing to invest even a modest amount in our seafront heritage and tourism infrastructure.

“This was seed funding that would have enabled us to get going on the project with private investment and matched funding from the city council. Our bid was strong and the response before today was positive, so I cannot understand why the Government has let us down so badly.

“Our local MP and Government Minister Simon Kirby has some serious questions to answer, and serious questions to ask his Conservative colleagues about why they think Brighton and Hove does not matter.

“If confirmed I shall be writing to Simon Kirby today to seek answers on why our bid has been refused.”

In response, Mr Kirby said he would be continuing to lobby for Government funding for the project. He said: “I have immediately taken up this matter with DCLG.

“I have always been a strong voice for Brighton Kemptown and Peacehaven, happy to work with all local councils and will do my best to continue to lobby for the money.”

The council only discovered it had not been awarded the funding when other areas announced they had been successful and Government visits were scheduled.

Later in the morning, the full list was published by the Government – and Brighton was not on it. Areas which have been awarded the money include Hastings, Blackpool, Southport, Plymouth and Lowestoft.

A Department for Communities and Local Government spokesman said there had been applications for grants totalling twice the available money. He added: “Given the strong competition for grants from the Costal Communities Fund, we’re only able to support the strongest applications.

“We understand those unsuccessful in this round will be disappointed, but we’d encourage them to reapply later this year.”

The proposed uses for units in the revamped terraces included shops, cafes or spaces for creative small businesses – and even hotel rooms or a youth hostel.

The council’s plans envisioned this could be done in three phases – the first restoring a third of the structure at a cost of £8m, which would have been part paid for by the CCF money, and half through other means, possibly a Public Works Loans Board loan as used to help build the i360.

Having got the scheme underway, and improved the area, the remaining sections would be restored mainly on a commercial basis, using investment from businesses.

If the CCF bid had been successful, the first phase could have been completed by 2020, and the whole of the terraces by 2023, creating 145 new jobs and adding £5million a year to the local economy. Today’s news it has not succeeded means that timeline is now unrealistic.

  1. Sarah Putland Reply

    I’d rather have a safe seafront terrace than an overpriced attraction which breaks down every 5 minutes, yes I am talking about the i360

  2. Colin Penfold Reply

    Brighton council should hang their heads in shame,to let such an iconic structure (the only one of its type in europe) fall into an advanced state of decay, SHAMEFUL!!!

  3. Colin Reply

    The whole seafront needs to be put into a public trust (like the National Trust) and away from interference by politicians.

  4. Clare Reply
  5. Dorothy Reply

    Did Simon Kirby even bother to come down or look at the plans? He needs to get a full justification for turning the scheme down when it appears to be in line with the governments aspirations for city regeneration and jobs. After all it is in his constituency.


    Take a trip to Margate. Brighton is a brilliant place but please learn the lessons of Margate.

    • Sam Reply

      What do you mean about Margate Michael? I’m interested. And worried about Brighton’s architecture & future.

  7. Roger Kirk Reply

    Shame on Simon Kirby being part of the Government that refuses to back the restoration of such an important structure in our city and his constituency.

    Will he do the honourable thing and resign as a government minister over this failure? Or does he put keeping his own financial benefits from the extra job ahead of the well being of his constituency?

    Let’s support our council in keeping on fighting for the funds to support our sea front. We may have been let down by previous councils, but certainly the level of investment and fights for funding the current administration have achieved is something to shout about (just look at the amount of improvements we’re currently seeing all along the beach). Just a shame our Government are not supportive of their efforts in improving our city.

  8. Daniel Harris Reply

    My question is what was plan b here? surely we had a plan B right?

    I mean, Tories handing out money to a Red, Green and Blue City was always going to be slim.

    Simon Kirby is a Joke though, Kemptown is a neglected mess and with so many Labour Councillors, I would hope the council will come up with an alternative plan ASAP!

    We need a Plan for Kemptown which is robust and regenerates the area. One thing is clear, this will only happen when we elect a better MP to fight and speak up with Brighton Kemptown.

    We are a young vibrant city and this part of the city already hosts so many events, clearly we need to capitalise on this and maximise the potential of the space, not neglect it.

  9. Pete T Reply

    So the i360 gets a £30m from the council And now they blame Goverment for not putting £4m towards seafront refurb Its council responsibility Just get on with it

    • Roger Kirk Reply

      i360 funding was from a different source and just for i360. Most of it is also a loan that will be repaid from the revenue generated by the i360, so not something that would ever have been transferable to a different regeneration scheme.

      But also, the i360 was under a different council administration. Since the current lot took over in 2015, there have been new plans being generated for Maderia Terraces, such as this funding being one source applied for in 2016.

      I’ve heard the council will keep fighting and have other plans to try and secure the funding from other sources. Let’s get behind our council and show how much support the plans to save the Maderia Terraces has. Showing a united front between the council and the city could very well make the difference in someone making a decision somewhere on another pot of funding.

  10. Derek Reply
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  12. Roger Kirk Reply

    Would also help my posts if I could spell ‘Madeira’ properly 🙂

  13. Jesus crist Reply

    if they are not going to mend it then at least paint it. I’ll be happy with that

  14. Ann fox Reply

    Simon Kirby should hang his head in shame the weak leadership of this individual is astonishing!

  15. Diana Lo Reply

    What a disastrous sorry state the ‘City’ of Brighton is becoming. No wonder when you look for top musical opera show stopping shows none come to this fast approaching derelict seaside ‘City’ apart from a ridiculous silver metal pole sticking up like an eyesore. Well I expect when the road crumbles like it has by the over stuffed palace pier someone will say whoops!

  16. fishface Reply

    tear the lot down then replace it with modern copies , no sense on trying to restore crumbling Victorian iron work , as long as the copies are the same look but built with modern construction standards they will last just as long and probably will work out a LOT cheaper in the long run

  17. Georgia Reply

    Pay the small fraction! It’s the least you can do. Outraged

  18. Hound dog Reply

    As niceas they look and historic I do wonder why the nation should trump up that money. How much is your council paying for the Harlem globetrotters visit?

  19. The old veteran Reply

    Has it been approved by the planning committee yet?

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