Public urged to help fund Brighton seafront revival after government says no

Posted On 13 Apr 2017 at 12:33 am

The public is being asked to help pay for the restoration of the Madeira Terraces on Brighton seafront after the government rejected a plea for funding.

Brighton and Hove City Council said that it was calling on “people power” as part of a new four-point proposal to save the rundown terraces.

The council said: “The move follows the government’s refusal last month to award £4 million of funding to kick-start restoration of the grade II listed Madeira Terraces.

“The derelict 1897 structure, designed by Phillip Cawston Lockwood, runs half a mile along the city’s eight-mile seafront.”

Council leader Warren Morgan said that the aim now was to raise an initial £4 million to get the project going.

Councillor Morgan said: “Our fight to save this iconic structure continues unabated. We can’t do this alone and we know people are keen to help renovate this historic landmark in our city.

“We will harness the city’s energy, creativity and affection for the Terraces to get the project off the ground.

Fencing put up along Madeira Terraces. Image by Jax Atkins

“At the same time we will leave no stone unturned, seeking every possible avenue of funding from government and other sources.

“We want to inspire private and corporate investors to join us in saving a nationally important structure on one of the world’s most recognisable seafronts by the much loved pebble beach.

“I’m not giving up on this. We’re determined to find a way of funding the restoration of the Terraces.”

The proposals involve four key fundraising elements.

Crowd-funding – The council is seeking the best available crowd-funding platform for a major project of this kind.

It said: “We’ll be working with corporate sponsors, tourist organisations and local residents to make sure the right fundraising options are arranged.

“Initial support for the idea has been received from Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club and Brighton and Hove Buses.

“This is a modern twist on the traditional way Victorian architectural delights, such as the Terraces, were founded in the first place. Phillip Cawston Lockwood himself would have been familiar with a public subscription approach.”

Councillor Warren Morgan

Lottery funding – Starting with a bid to the Heritage Lottery’s Enterprise Fund in June, the council said that it would be exploring all possible government funding streams.

It said: “We’ll be ready to respond to any new calls from the Coast to Capital LEP for bids to the Local Growth Fund.

“The Enterprise programme is for projects bringing economic growth by investing in heritage. Bids can be from £100,000 to £5 million.”

Harnessing local talent – The council said that it was “seeking skills and investment power from the private sector”.

It said: “We’ll be issuing a call for investors to bring their ideas, design skills and money to save the structure.”

Exploring uses for the area for now – The council will be looking into possibilities for “meanwhile” uses for Madeira Drive.

It said: “Pop-up businesses could increase activity and support existing ventures such as the forthcoming zip-wire, opening later in the summer.”

The council also touched on how the restoration could be funded. It said: “Total restoration costs are estimated at £24 million.

“Once an initial £4 million of funding is raised, the council would match the sum to restore around one third of the structure. It is anticipated this would then attract enough investment to complete the project over time.

“The most likely solution involves adapting the Terraces’ ironwork arches to house businesses such as cafés, shops and studios. This approach has been proven a success in the Seafront Arches.

“Public Works Loan Board (PWLB) funding, used to build the i360, will be used if additional income can be generated from the redevelopment of the terraces. The council needs to show any borrowing can be paid back.

“A Seafront Investment Team will work together to combine the council with key local tourism experts and bodies for a collaborative way forward.

“The team is expected to hold its first meeting this month to formulate strategy.

“A report will be taken to the council’s policy committee seeking formal approval to progress the plan.”

The council said that it was inviting partners to be part of the next stage for the Terraces, including
• Brighton and Hove Economic Partnership
• Brighton and Hove Tourism Alliance
• Brighton Palace Pier
• Brighton Sealife Centre
• Brighton and Hove Hoteliers Association
• The Grand hotel
• The Hilton Brighton Metropole hotel
• The Business Improvement District
• Brighton Marina
• Seafront traders
• Amenity societies, for example, the Regency Society

Meanwhile, the city has about £1 billion pounds of investment for the seafront, either under way or in the pipeline. Details were shared last year and many projects are already in development along the seafront.

  1. mike mouse Reply

    Make the drug dealing scum fund the restoration. Why should taxpayers pay for the police to control these stupid people while drug money is laundered offshore to the criminals who organise, and addict morons to deal and use drugs that will kill them. The cost is enormous.
    The PC liberals who run Brighton should take responsibilty for allowing the use of drugs in the first place. Drugs kill.

  2. Windsor101 Reply

    Stop wasting >£1 million a year on spot-purchasing revolting, slum bedsit HMO accommodation from unscrupulous private landlords.

  3. Sarah Putland Reply

    The government wont do anything until the whole thing collapses onto the seafront and it’s too late, they’ll be moaning about the seafront looking a mess, sort it out!

  4. Philip Spani Reply

    How about re-locating the council offices, and selling the current premises?
    Or spending some of the money from parking revenue…?

    • Christopher Hawtree Reply

      Where do you propose to put the Council offices? To rent space costs more than to make use of those owned. Most of the Parking revenue funds the “free” bus-passes. These facts are widely known, so why make tour assertions?

      My own feeling is that cllr Morgan will find it hard to raise money from the public after the protracted misery through which Hove residents have been put by his strange obsession with wishing to close down the Carnegie Library. He has made difficulties for himself.

  5. J Reply

    Not being funny but why should I or the public of Brighton and hove pay for something that Brighton and hove council won’t pay for, when they get more than enough money. E.g they get £26m a year from visitors and residence parking in our town and putting tickets on cars. Stop the council from mugging us all off. I won’t pay and hope that are fellow Brighton and hove residence will think twice

  6. Billie Reply

    The government dd not say ‘no’, they said that Brighton and Hove Council’s application was not up to scratch – it did not even address / meet key criteria for the awarding of money therefore it could not even be considered. When (if) BHCC are able to pull their finger out and actually complete the application properly then there is a good chance of receiving cash. Love how the terminally incompetent BHCC now trying to blame all but themselves. Haven’t you had years of council tax to get this sorted, and of course thanks to BHCC we are now in debt to the tune of £30mil odd for the abomination that is the i360 which gives nothing back to the people who live here. AWESOME!

  7. muggedoff Reply

    @J I agree. I got charged £13.00 for 2hrs and 10 mins parking in a council run car park. That’s legal extortion.

  8. Charlie Bones Reply

    This is the new West pier. Just watch how unending council incompetence will see our beloved Arches rust away to nothing . They have had years to sort this out, a general maintenance programme was never established, while income from hires like the Veteran car rally have been syphoned off for other things. The councils job should be maintaining our infrastructure not getting involved with private sector ventures like the isore which historically they are crap at. I can’t understand why the so called ‘top tier’ of council employees get over 100 grand a year when we are met with such incompetence.

  9. Jax Atkins Reply

    ‘They’ have had years to sort this out? Who are the ‘they’…’they’ are successive councils over many decades! At least we have a ‘they’ in place now led by a leader who wants to see this sorted out. Surely this is a reason for rejoicing, not spurting the same old negative stuff that gets nothing done! WarrenMorgan is giving us residents the choice to use our people power to help solve problems. Really, if you don’t agree, why not just keep quiet & give us a chance…negativity never solved anything.

    As for the comments from J – ‘I’m not being funny but…’, well, theyare being very obtuse & ignorant. Surely everyoine now realises that revenue from parij=ng has to be spent on parking-related services? It just can’t be allocated csomewhere else! It is very sad to hear Jsay that he/she won’t pay & doesn’t expect others too – very sad & narrow-minded. Funny, because so many people I know have asked for the privilege to be able to pay towards this!

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