The campaign to kick-start the restoration of the crumbling Madeira Terrace on Brighton's seafront has now hit 73 per cent of its fundraising target with just over two weeks to go.
A recent pledge of £15,000 by local firm Landsec has helped boost the fund up to over £310,000, while a groundswell of public support has seen the campaign attract over 1,500 backers. Of those backers, over 90 per cent are members of the public, rather than organisations.
Howard Barden, head of the city’s tourism unit, VisitBrighton, which is leading the campaign, said: “The campaign has ignited a sense of civic pride around improving the seafront and has seen a number of residents make it their mission to see the campaign succeed.
“Support for the terraces to be restored is evident and we’re now hoping to see businesses step up with some larger pledges in the last couple of weeks. We have done phenomenally well but there’s still another £114k to raise.”
Brighton and Hove City Council hopes to raise £428,659 to restore three of the 154 Victorian arches, and demonstrate to potential funders that the restoration has popular local support to attract external funding.
Emily Senior, a Kemp Town resident who is running a 10k race in Brighton on Sunday (November 19) to raise funds for the campaign, said: “It has been heart-breaking to see the Terraces fall into such a sorry state. At first, I felt angry that it had been so badly neglected but putting all that aside, I discovered the crowdfunding campaign and decided to actually do something to raise awareness and funds.”
Also supporting the campaign are residents Jax Atkins and Derek Wright, who have set up a raffle and are working tirelessly to collect prizes and sell tickets with the aim of raising £20,000.
So far they have secured over 500 prizes from local businesses keen to show their support for the cause. Prizes include meals at top city restaurants, overnight hotel stays, spa treatments and gig tickets.
The draw will take place at the Cricketers pub, Ship Street on November 24.
Jax said: “Everybody likes a raffle and we decided we’d start one so that people who didn't particularly want to pledge cash could buy a ticket instead. From wondering whether we'd actually get prizes at the start, to practically being inundated with offers, it’s been crazy - I think we’ve now hit the 500 mark - and still prizes are coming in!”
Derek said: “I adore Brighton and am interested in its history. When the Madeira Terrace rescue plan was launched by the council, I pledged my support but also wanted to do something practical. Jax organised a clean-up on Madeira Drive and once I’d heard about her idea to hold a raffle, decided it was something I could get behind.”
Neighbours Christopher Goss and Russell Miller are also helping galvanise the community and have been lobbying local businesses, leafleting and using social media as well as sending hundreds of e-mails to try and attract pledges.
Chris said: “1,500 pledges is a strong testimony to our community’s love and support for these iconic arches. Most of these pledges are from local individuals like us who have dug deep into our pockets. We now hope that the business community will increase its pledges to enable the campaign to reach its funding target. Renovation of the Terrace should be the catalyst for the long overdue regeneration of Brighton seafront from Brighton Palace Pier to the Marina.”
The campaign has also seen celebrity support from local resident Norman Cook, aka Fatboy Slim, radio and TV presenter Chris Evans and comedian Eddie Izzard.
To find out more about the raffle, click here.
For more information or to make a pledge by November 30 visit: www.savemadeiraterrace.org