Monthly Archives: March 2014

Pavilion Gardens Cafe saved from closure

From The Argus:

A historic cafe has been saved from demolition following a mass public campaign.

Brighton’s Pavilion Gardens Cafe, which has been run by the Sewell family for 73 years, was earmarked to be knocked down and moved to an unspecified site, but following a huge public backlash, the council and Pavilion estate owners have said the cafe will remain.

Owner David Sewell described the news as a “huge relief”.

Speaking last night, he said: “It is fantastic news, I’m really optimistic for the future. I have spent a lot of time in meetings and worrying about this. Hopefully this assurance will mean I can spend more time at my cafe providing the service my customers deserve. We have a huge number of loyal customers and supporters who have stood up for us and I would like to thank them.”

The Sewell family has run the cafe since 1941. However, its future was thrown into doubt last year when Brighton Dome bosses unveiled the estate’s master plan for the coming decades. As part of the proposal, it was suggested the cafe could be housed in a new building as part of a visitor centre.

In October last year Catherine Carey, of the Royal Pavilion Estate Masterplan project team, told The Argus the cafe was part of their grand scheme. Dismissing the proposal as a “journey into the unknown” Mr Sewell demanded reassurances. A huge public campaign followed which saw close to 6,000 sign an online petition.

Despite this, Dome chief executive Andrew Comben denied the backlash was a trigger for the change of plans, instead citing it as part of the process. He said: “We’ve been talking about this with David Sewell and the Friends of the Cafe since May last year. That was an ongoing process in which we got around a table and tried to understand each other’s positions. The public reaction was just part of that.” He added: “Coming up with a vision, people are going to have lots of different views. We needed to make sure we took them on board and that is part of the process.”

Describing the news as a “step forward”, Mr Sewell said he hoped the future would see a closer relationship between the two. He said: “For many years I think those at the Dome have underestimated us. While their management has changed countless times over the years, my family has been here since 1941. We are the eyes and the ears of the Pavilion Gardens and we could offer a lot. However, that hasn’t been the case and I think those in charge have lost out as a result. I would welcome working closer with them in the future and would be happy to help where I can.” He added: “We have customers going back 40, 50, 60 years. We are part of the community and the community wanted that to remain. It was really nice to see so many people get behind us and support us and I just hope we can now move forward and work together to make the Pavilion Gardens and estate the best it can be.”

Penny Thompson, chief executive of Brighton and Hove City Council, was a key figure in the talks with the cafe and estate owners. She said: “I’m delighted we have reached an agreement to work together. This project is vital to the heart of the city and needs the input of the Pavilion Gardens Cafe community to help shape a Royal Pavilion Estate for the 21st century. We will strive to preserve and recognise the contribution of the 20th century in the form of the cafe buildings and patio which are clearly so precious to so many.”

Greater Brighton City Deal Signed

From The Argus:

Prime Minister David Cameron has given his backing to the Greater Brighton City Deal, which could see £170 million of investment into Sussex and the creation of 8,500 jobs, with a special boost for the digital sector.

The deal could benefit 600,000 people across Brighton and Hove, Lewes, Mid Sussex, Adur and Worthing.

A council spokeswoman said this would turn the area into “one of the highest performing urban economies in the UK operating on an international stage.”

Other plans as part of the deal include:

  • A regional programme of business support, developed in conjunction with companies in the area to help them access networks, advice and other support
  • A new Central Research Laboratory at Preston Barracks to support start-up businesses linked to university research, which will create 740 new jobs
  • A ‘Digital Exchange’ at New England House to provide ultrafast broadband to small businesses at affordable prices
  • The expansion of the successful ‘Fusebox’ scheme, a start-up space for small creative digital companies
  • Clean and environmental technology centres at Newhaven and Shoreham, as well as flood defence funding for those sites, creating 6700 new jobs in the area.

The deal has been unveiled by the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Minister for Cities Greg Clark, and will be signed at New England House in Brighton today by Mr Clark, council leaders and the local enterprise partnership.

The £170 million of investment consists of £6.7 million from central government, £9.8 million from the local public sector and at least £155 million of private investment.

The deal will give Brighton and Hove the chance to compete with other major tech clusters around the world by creating a digital exchange in the heart of the city, where companies collaborate to use combined buying power to get faster broadband at lower prices, the Deputy Prime Minister’s office said.

It will also help flood defence work, regeneration and employment at sites in Shoreham, West Sussex, and Newhaven, East Sussex.

Mr Cameron said: “Today’s City Deal is great for Brighton, growing and harnessing the digital and creative skills that the city is rightly renowned for.

“With more power and freedom to run the local economy in the way they see fit, local people will be able to make decisions that directly benefit Brighton’s businesses.

“By supporting new and innovative businesses, Brighton’s deal will help us secure the nation’s recovery and deliver our long term economic plan.”

Mr Clark added: “Brighton’s tech cluster has grown from very little 10 years ago to having 1,500 businesses today.

“It’s already making a huge impact on Brighton’s economic performance, and this City Deal will help accelerate its growth by ensuring that it can provide the space and infrastructure for high-value creative-technological businesses to grow. It can help turn Brighton into one of the most prosperous cities in the UK.”

Jason Kitcat, Brighton and Hove City Council leader, said the deal was an exciting journey which would allow more power and responsibility within the city region.

The Greater Brighton area is one of 20 cities that was identified in the second wave of City Deals.

A large part of the investment will go to revamping New England House and developing a network of university-backed growth centres to encourage new enterprises.

Vehicle Crime Prevention

There have recently been some vehicle breaks in the Preston area.

Accordingly we have increased patrols in the area but ask for your assistance in reporting any suspicious activity. If you see anything suspicious please report it and don’t assume that your information is already known or will be insignificant.

The Neighbourhood Policing Team is talking to residents to try and identify those responsible.

Steps to protect your vehicle;

* Do not leave anything of value in your vehicle, take all your belongings with you.

* If you have a garage, use it. If you don’t, always try to park in well-lit, open locations and ensure your vehicle is locked, alarmed and immobilised.

* Sat Navs are sought-after items, so always remember to remove yours from your vehicle, along with the cradle.

* Security mark your sat nav and all other valuables. Keep a note of makes, models and serial numbers of your sat nav, car audio equipment, mobile phone, ipod and cameras.

To report an emergency including any crimes in progress please dial 999.

To report non-emergency crime dial 101.

Kind regards,

East Brighton Neighbourhood Policing Team

Sussex Police