The first phase of Brighton & Hove City Council and Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival’s joint vision to revitalise the Royal Pavilion Estate has been awarded £3m.
The grant, which comes from the Coast to Capital Local Growth Fund, will go towards a major refurbishment of the Grade 1 listed Corn Exchange and Grade 2 listed Studio Theatre.
The improvement works, which will restore long-lost heritage features as well as providing new state-of-the art facilities, began on-site earlier this month.
Warren Morgan, Brighton & Hove City Council Leader, said: “The city has an international reputation for its fantastic arts and culture offer and this is something we’re keen to maintain and build on for the benefit of all our communities. This funding goes towards a project that will secure local jobs and help support local businesses that benefit from tourism and visitors to the city. Working together as a sector means we can get the most out of funding and other opportunities and create the conditions for the city’s arts and cultural economy to thrive for decades to come.”
Due for completion in late 2018, the transformation of the Corn Exchange (formerly the Prince Regent’s Riding house) will reveal and restore stunning and previously hidden heritage features as well as provide increased capacity seating and an impressive new viewing gallery.
Major improvements to the Studio Theatre (once a stables and supper room) will include balcony seating, new bar facilities a new artists’ creation space and a café opening out onto a plaza at street level. The longer-term vision aims to reunite the historic Estate created by George IV in the early 19th century to create a centre for heritage, culture, and the performing arts, which reflects the unique spirit of Brighton.
The £3m grant joins funding from the National Lottery through Arts Council England and Heritage Lottery Fund, along with money from the city council, charitable trusts and individual patrons. Together this ensures £19.3m of the £21m phase one project costs are now in place.
Once the Royal Pavilion Estate has been revitalised, it is predicted to support 1241 jobs and bring up to £68m to the local economy.
Andrew Comben, Chief Executive for Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival BDM,said: “We are delighted that the project has been awarded £3m from the Coast to Capital Local Growth fund. This is tremendous news. Arts and culture are intrinsic to Brighton & Hove’s economy and to have the LEP recognise this with this investment is a fantastic endorsement of our vision. Alongside major contributions from Arts Council England and Heritage Lottery Fund and other charitable trusts and individual donors, this creates a really strong foundation with which to launch our public appeal in the coming months.
Hedley Swain, Director of the South East for Arts Council England, added: “This award is a brilliant
endorsement of the Royal Pavilion Estate capital project and its importance to the future success of Brighton. It’s also wonderful to see LEP recognising the importance of art and culture as part of local enterprise and wealth creation in an area. I look forward to the project’s exciting completion.”
To find out more about the restoration and future of the dome, click here.
Photos by Jolyon Thompson