A multi-million-pound refurbishment of Brighton Town Hall which could see it become a hub for trade missions and business events has received the backing of the region’s major figures.
A business case will be drawn up for the Grade II listed structure, in Bartholemew Square, which could include creation of a conference facilities, office space and a high-end restaurant.
The plans, which could cost between £8million and £10million, were backed by the Greater Brighton Economic Board on Tuesday - a collection of the region’s political, business and education figures.
A board report read: “Brighton Town Hall is a city landmark. It is centrally located, accommodates important life events such as wedding ceremonies and the registration of births, deaths and marriages and is of political significance, hosting Brighton and Hove City Council meetings and coordinating electoral events.
“However the building is an under-occupied and substantial Grade II listed structure with ever-increasing maintenance needs.”
The redevelopment could see the facility host events to ‘elevate the city and city region’s international reputation’. while providing a new civic ‘hub’ for the mayor and lord lieutenant.
Conference facilities and commercial office space on the first floor could be created, while the ground floor could be developed into a restaurant and venue for marriage and civil ceremonies.
The restaurant, the report states, could host dignitaries and entrepreneurs ‘as part of a redefined mayoral function’.
A business case for capital investment will be produced, with opportunities for grant funding and borrowing to be explored.
City ‘ambassadors’ will also be appointed to promote the city - but board members stressed such a role should fly the flag for the Greater Brighton region, which extends across Sussex.
Councillor Neil Parkin, leader of Adur District Council, said officers would have to think about access to the facility. He said having to drop-off dignitaries 300 yards from the venue would not be well received.