The Madeira Terrace crowdfunding campaign proved to be an amazing success and was the first, crucial step in saving this valued and much loved part of our local heritage. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions.
1. How much money did the crowdfunding campaign raise and how will it be spent?
The crowdfunding campaign raised a total of *£463,947, approximately, 10 per cent more than the original target. The money will go towards restoring three of the 151 Madeira Terrace arches.
*pledges are still being collected so figures given are correct at time of publication but may fluctuate slightly.
2. Which arches have been chosen for the restoration?
The first three western end arches have been earmarked for restoration. The main reasons are:
- These are the arches closest to the main pier thoroughfare and so will be more visible to more people and more accessible on foot.
- The three arches are also at the very beginning of the terrace. This will create fewer structural challenges than arches which sit within the middle of a span.
- The ramp to the mid-level next to these arches still remains open so access above the three arches could be reinstated if the structure below is repaired.
3. When will work on the three arches start?
Scoping works will start in January 2018. First steps include final surveying, getting listed building consent and proposed designs agreed in consultation with Historic England, conservation groups and key stakeholders, such as local businesses.
A tender exercise will then take place in Spring 2018 and we estimate that once all preparatory work has been completed and the work tendered to get the most competitive price from a building contractor, work will start on site by Summer 2018. Once the early preparatory work is completed a more detailed and confirmed programme can be issued.
4. There is a contractor working on Madeira Terrace at the moment – what are they doing?
This work is the installation of structural supports to enable Concorde II and the staircase from/to Marine Parade to remain open and safe. The council has been working on this particular element for the past 2 years and a planning application was submitted in March 2016.
The work is being undertaken by civil engineering contractors C J Thornes and the majority is expected to be complete by Christmas. Thornes plan to return in February to install a support to the balustrade/handrail above these same bays.
A budget for these works was allocated by the council some time ago and is not linked in any way to funds raised from the crowdfunding campaign.
5. How will restoring three arches help the long term plan for Madeira Terrace?
The restored arches will act as a showcase for the terrace by providing a physical and strong visual reminder of how the whole terrace will look once the remaining 148 arches are also fully restored.
The new arches will also help to regenerate the area around them by showcasing the potential variety and interest that might be achieved from having new pop-up uses within the arches. The ‘pilot’ project will also act as an important ‘test-bed’ and provide for a more robust business case for the remaining terrace and to support funding bids for the remaining project, estimated to cost more than £20 million pounds.
6. How successful was the crowdfunding campaign?
Crowdfunding expert Spacehive has said that ‘the Save Madeira Terrace campaign was the most ambitious crowdfunding campaign to be run on Spacehive’s platform. The campaign currently holds the record for the biggest number of individual pledges’.
The level of the average pledge, at £46, demonstrated just how important Madeira Terrace is to the public and many pledges from individuals have been far in excess of this amount.
Local business support also built towards the end of the campaign. Generous and notable donations were received, some as high as £25,000, from a range of local businesses, charity and amenity organisations. These larger pledges helped to raise the profile of the campaign in both press and social media, generating further support during the closing days of the campaign.
In addition to financial support, there have been less tangible, but no less important, benefits. Regular Facebook and Twitter feeds kept the conversation in the public domain, hundreds of ideas and suggestions on the campaign website have been put forward, and events and fund raisers have been led by various organisations willing to offer their support.
A raffle set up by members of the community through the Facebook page ‘Save Madeira Terraces’ received more than 600 prize donations from local businesses ranging from free flights to free dinners at local restaurants, and contributed more than £16,000 to the campaign.
7. What sources of funding is the council seeking to fund the restoration of the remaining 148 arches?
The scale of the wider Madeira Terrace project is so great that a range of funding sources will be needed to move ahead. It is also most likely that funding will be achieved for phases, rather than in one go.
The council is currently in discussion with the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) which has the most resources for this type of project, but like many other organisations has been subject to Government cuts. A ceiling on bids of £5m is also in place. If HLF is in agreement that a bid should be made, a process will be started to undertake all the work required for this in the new year. This is a staged process and requires a detailed case to be made, with costings and evidence of outcomes to be achieved.
8. What other funding opportunities are there?
Other funding sources will all be explored, including from the private sector. With public funding such as HLF, private funding sources are also expected to make up any shortfall. Charitable and other funds will also be approached.
Private commercial operators and developers will also be interested in making a case to restore the terraces, and the council has made it clear in the recent Policy, Resources & Growth committee report that these organisations are not excluded.
The evidence suggests that without any additional public funding, balancing the costs on a future project is not realistic, but the council has stressed that it wishes to keep an open mind on this aspect going forwards.
Funding streams also change over time. Coastal Communities Fund, the Big Lotto, trusts, foundations and commercial and private sector sponsorship will all be kept under review going forward.
A Madeira Terrace restoration fund has now also been set up that will be able to continue to accept pledges of money from businesses and the public. This will also allow us to have fundraising events and continue working with the community raffle.