This week I wrote to the leaseholder of the Aquarium Terraces site opposite the Palace Pier saying that I want a response in the next couple of weeks with an action plan and timeline for redevelopment of the site.
It’s an eyesore in one of our prime tourist locations, and we had expected work to start in September. I’m not going to stand by and let major projects that bring benefit to our city drift. We need work to proceed at pace for regeneration, new infrastructure, modernisation of services and to save our heritage.
We are now about halfway to raising the funds we need to kick-start the Madeira Terraces project, with our Heritage Lottery bid primed to go in November. The lottery-funded work at the Royal Pavilion and Dome complex is advancing steadily.
Work on the Circus Street site is well underway, and work at the long-derelict Preston Barracks site will begin in the next few months, generating jobs and homes for the city. We have reached a milestone in the two-year project to replace the Shelter Hall on the seafront at West Street, with piling complete. This is a key part of strengthening the Kings Road, itself a Victorian viaduct never meant to bear the weight of traffic we see today.
Our joint venture with Hyde to deliver 1,000 truly affordable homes is now agreed, including the first three priority sites to be looked at for potential. The major redevelopment of the Royal Sussex County Hospital presses on, a half a billion pound project that will deliver a world-class healthcare environment for residents here and across our region.
Work goes on behind the scenes to secure progress on the new leisure centre at the King Alfred in Hove, and we hope to be in a position to give an update in the New Year. Meanwhile a key milestone in the long-term vision to build a new conference and concert venue, and extend Churchill Square to the seafront, is approaching.
As I’ve said before, we can’t stand still and we can’t neglect our heritage. We can’t let our assets decay or stand idle. Now more than ever we need to keep moving forward and delivering for our city, and I’m determined to make sure we do.
Warren Morgan is the Labour leader of Brighton & Hove City Council.