The leader of Brighton and Hove City Council has slammed the Government after a bid for £4 million to restore Madeira Terraces was turned down.
The Department for Communities and Local Government announced £40 million in grants for coastal communities today (April 3), but Brighton’s bid to improve the dilapidated seafront east of the Palace Pier was not on the list of winning bids.
Cllr Warren Morgan said: “I am bitterly disappointed and angry with the Government. Yet again they have let us down, first they failed to invest in our rail infrastructure, now they are failing to invest even a modest amount in our seafront heritage and tourism infrastructure.
“This was seed funding that would have enabled us to get going on the project with private investment and matched funding from the city council. Our bid was strong and the response before today was positive, so I cannot understand why the Government has let us down so badly.
“Our local MP and Government Minister Simon Kirby has some serious questions to answer, and serious questions to ask his Conservative colleagues about why they think Brighton and Hove does not matter.
“I will be writing to Simon Kirby for his urgent response.”
Brighton and Hove City Council’s bid was to kick-start the regeneration of the Madeira Terraces, which is currently sealed off under advice from engineers.
The council said: “Surveying showed that the steel beams embedded in the concrete, supporting the deck of the Terraces, have corroded and the cast iron has come to the end of its useful life. Repairs cannot be made and a rebuild is needed.”
Plans to rebuild the Terraces would transform the area with ‘innovative commercial and leisure uses to the structure in order to breathe life back into Brighton’s eastern seafront’, the council said..
Potential uses for the Grade 2 listed structure included ‘an iconic hotel, youth hostel, arts centre, gallery, catering, boutique retail and start-up space for creative and digital firms’.
Communities Secretary Sajid Javid announced the funding for 30 projects around the coast today (April 3), including a new conference centre for Blackpool and new beach huts and lifeguards for Hastings.