Â£5.8 million development grant for Pavilion Estate
Funding secured for the first stage of ambitious Â£35 million redevelopment proposals.
Brighton's Royal Pavilion EstateÂ has been given Â£5.8 million toÂ put towards ambitious plansÂ to breathe new life into the siteÂ while preserving the heritageÂ hotspot for generations to come.
The Arts Council EnglandÂ awarded the money to BrightonÂ and Hove City Council andÂ Brighton Dome and BrightonÂ Festival - the joint custodiansÂ of the estate - and it will goÂ towards funding the firstÂ stage of ambitious Â£35 millionÂ proposals to redevelop the site.
The long-term goal is toÂ reconnect the historic buildingsÂ and landscape of the RoyalÂ Pavilion Estate to create a worldÂ class destination for heritage,Â culture and the performing arts.
To start with, however, theÂ Â£5.8 million will be used forÂ the first phase of the project '“specifically a refurbishmentÂ of the Grade I Brighton DomeÂ Corn Exchange and a majorÂ renovation of the Grade II StudioÂ Theatre.
The hope is that the workÂ will enable Brighton Dome'sÂ three venues '“ the ConcertÂ Hall, the Corn Exchange andÂ the Studio Theatre - to improveÂ their facilities and attract newÂ audiences as a result.
Those behind the plansÂ believe Brighton Festival hasÂ the potential to establish itselfÂ as one of Europe's leading artsÂ events.
The proposals include aÂ ground floor cafÃ© at the StudioÂ Theatre, opening on to NewÂ Road; a new viewing galleryÂ and extra seating at the CornÂ Exchange; new offices, cateringÂ facilities and back of houseÂ accommodation and a serviceÂ tunnel between the venues.
Andrew Comben, chiefÂ executive of Brighton Dome andÂ Brighton Festival, welcomed theÂ news. He said: 'We are delightedÂ and proud to be awarded thisÂ funding from Arts CouncilÂ England. As the first phase ofÂ the broader vision for the RoyalÂ Pavilion Estate, the developmentÂ plans for Brighton Dome CornÂ Exchange and the StudioÂ Theatre form a major part ofÂ our goal to be one of Europe'sÂ leading arts festivals and a yearroundÂ international destinationÂ for artists and audiences.
'This is just the start.'
The overall development plansÂ will rely on further funding, andÂ applications for the rest of theÂ necessary funding are beingÂ worked on. The team behind theÂ bids are confident this initialÂ Â£5.8 million grant is a step inÂ the right direction.
Penny Thompson, chiefÂ executive of Brighton and HoveÂ City Council said: 'BrightonÂ Dome is a key part of Brighton'sÂ Cultural Quarter and the city'sÂ rich heritage. We want to ensureÂ that it is preserved whilst itÂ also continues to flourish as aÂ vibrant cultural destination forÂ residents, audiences, artists andÂ visitors.
'As the first phase of theÂ larger and longer term ambitionÂ to connect, preserve andÂ celebrate the Royal PavilionÂ Estate, this project is in a uniqueÂ position; bringing the arts andÂ heritage sectors together toÂ ensure they are sustainable,Â resilient and innovative, andÂ benefiting audiences, residents,Â community groups, schools,Â resident and visiting artists,Â tourists, conference delegates,Â the regional digital communityÂ and local businesses amongstÂ others.'
Hedley Swain, area director,Â South East, Arts CouncilÂ England, said: 'Brighton DomeÂ and Brighton Festival make anÂ important contribution to theÂ artistic and cultural fabric ofÂ Brighton and we are pleased toÂ be able to support its continuedÂ development through thisÂ capital investment.
'This project will enhanceÂ the experience that it is able toÂ offer to audiences, whilst alsoÂ supporting the organisation'sÂ long term resilience '“ both ofÂ which are key to its continuedÂ success.'