Plans to bring ‘light and life’ to gloomy underpass near Brighton station

A new renovation project is set to bring ‘light and life’ to the top of Brighton’s Trafalgar Street – transforming into the ‘North Laine Gateway’.

Thursday, 8th July 2021, 4:32 pm
The 'gloomy' underpass

The gloomy underpass daubed with graffiti and strewn with old posters and stickers is one of the first things visitors to the city see.

Now the Brighton Toy and Model Museum, which is based in the road, has submitted a planning application to regenerate the area.

The proposal involves replacing the modern brickwork which fills the Victorian arches with glazing, bringing ‘light and life’ to the underpass.

The museum has worked with Benedict O’Looney Architects and the Railway Heritage Trust on the plans.

The Railway Heritage Trust has pledged 40 per cent of the structural costs and the museum is set to add 10 per cent – which means the half-way mark has already been reached.

Additional partners are now being sought to help with match-funding.

The scheme would also held attract visitors to the independent traders in North Laine, who are often overlooked as day-trippers head straight from the station to the sea, according to the museum.

Jan Etches, General Manager of the Brighton Toy and Model Museum which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, said: “We are keen to use this opportunity to regenerate our end of Trafalgar Street so that visitors to Brighton get a much improved first impression of the city and also draw their attention to Trafalgar Street and the other wonderful North Laine independent traders.

“We hope that everyone gets as excited about this project to improve our community as we are!”

The Brighton and Hove Tourism Alliance and Network Rail are also involved in regeneration proposals, with plans of their own to improve the space beneath Brighton Railway Station’s entrance.

Their contribution to the project includes a plan for the removal of the tattered posters and graffiti at the top of Trafalgar Street, replacing it with an attractive new mural instead.