Change is happening on our seafront. Investment in new and old, in our heritage and our economy, is gathering pace.
This week we launched the crowdfunding campaign to begin the restoration of the Madeira Terraces. Being able to demonstrate real public commitment and support for the project will help us win funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund in the Autumn. You can find out more and pledge your support here. The council has cleared litter and weeds, and soon a community clean-up day will make it even tidier for the summer.
Madeira Drive has been an iconic location for events and films for decades, but it isn’t being used to its full potential. New life is being breathed into it with the zipwire now open and the Sea Lanes swimming pool about to come to planning. The major restoration of Volks Railway is there for all to see, and in the longer term our new arena and conference centre at Black Rock will secure our city’s economy for the future. Further along the seafront the new Shelter Hall work continues at pace, with the former kiosk from that site soon to reopen at its new home opposite East Street. Landscaping work around the i360 and the new spiral feature using columns from the West Pier is complete. Alongside the planned new King Alfred, more than a billion pounds of investment is being drawn in to our seafront.
For over 250 years, since the Prince Regent transformed this fishing village into a fashionable resort, Brighton and Hove has constantly evolved and used its history and new attractions to draw in visitors who benefit our economy. It’s something we must do today, just as Phillip Cawston Lockwood did in the 1880s with the Madeira Terraces, just as the council did with the Brighton Centre in the 1970s.
We need a diverse and successful economy, with tourism and conferences sitting alongside higher education, financial services and the digital sector as some of the main planks in our platform to weather the economic storms and deliver secure and well paid employment to residents in Brighton and Hove. We plan to pass on to generations to come a city with strong heritage and a thriving economy.
Warren Morgan is the Labour leader of Brighton and Hove City Council.