12m of government funding has just been awarded to the Black Rock refurbishment project next to Brighton Marina.
The awarding of the funds via the Local Enterprise Partnership will see the creation of a world-class conference centre and 10,000-seat arena. This does mean the current Brighton Centre will be demolished, along with the complex containing the Odeon and Pryzm. The site will then be redeveloped, allowing Churchill Square to be extended towards the seafront.
The Black Rock development is part of Brighton’s massive Waterfront regeneration project, which will “cement Brighton & Hove’s reputation as a major conferencing, event, and shopping destination, and assert the city’s place as the regional capital”, according to Brighton and Hove City Council.
The site at Black Rock has been derelict for 30 years.
Council leader Warren Morgan said: “It’s a tremendous boost for the Waterfront project, specifically the Black Rock site, where we’re hoping to build a world-class conference and entertainments venue. And it’ll put us back at the top of the table in terms of conference and entertainments venues across Britain. The next step is to conclude our deal with Standard Life Investments.
“It’s a half a billion pound deal that involves not just this site but the extension of Churchill Square shopping centre down to the seafront. And it’s the business rates from that extension to Churchill Square that will fund the borrowing to enable this project to be completed.
“By unlocking this site at Black Rock, which has been derelict since the 1970s, we can regenerate the whole eastern section of Brighton seafront, which means that the Madeira Terraces will be restored and revitalised. There will be jobs, business rates and a whole range of economic activity, which can only be a good thing for the city of Brighton & Hove.”