Plans to restore the Corn Exchange and Studio Theatre have received a £3 million funding boost.
The £21m renovation of the two sites, a joint vision by Brighton Dome and Brighton and Hove City Council, is expected to be complete by the end of next year, and is part of a wider three-phase restoration plan of the Royal Pavilion Estate.
The transformation of the Corn Exchange – formerly the Prince Regent’s Riding house – will reveal and restore previously hidden heritage features as well as provide increased capacity seating and a 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 £3m grant from Coast to Capital – the south’s local enterprise partnership (LEP) – joins funding from the National Lottery through Arts Council England (ACE) and Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), 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.
Andrew Comben, chief executive of Brighton Dome, said: “Arts and culture are intrinsic to Brighton and Hove’s economy and to have the LEP recognise this with this investment is a fantastic endorsement of our vision.”
Warren Morgan, Brighton and 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.”