From The Argus –
Two historic theatres have been given £5 million between them for major refurbishments.
The cash, which has come from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), will go towards Brighton Dome Corn Exchange and the Studio Theatre, which are part of the The Royal Pavilion Estate.
The handout, which will go towards the £19 million refurbishment, leaves theatre bosses needing just £4.3 million more to reach their total.
Brighton Dome will launch a series of fundraising initiatives in the coming months to help raise the remaining amount.
A further £2 million bid to The Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership will be made before the end of March.
The theatre restoration project is one half of the two stage bid for the regeneration of the Royal Pavilion Estate to create a world-class cultural destination for generations to come.
A second bid for a HLF grant for the refurbishment of the Royal Pavilion and Royal Pavilion Garden and the creation of a new visitor centre will be made later this year.
A previous £14 million HLF bid for this project was rejected in May 2014.
The confirmation of the £5 million grant yesterday will be banked alongside £5.8 million from Arts Council England, £1.2 million from charitable trusts and private individuals and £750,000 from the city council.
An additional £4.3 million of fundraising will include an appeal to the public with a series of fundraising initiatives rolling out from this summer including digital projects, a seat appeal and a number of events.
The money will fund refurbishment and conservation work designed to secure the future of the grade I listed Corn Exchange and the Grade II listed Studio Theatre.
Project directors have promised that “breathtaking and previously hidden heritage spaces” will be restored for public viewing.
Work on the project is due to start in the autumn.
Councillor Warren Morgan, leader of Brighton and Hove City Council, said: “This marks a major step forward in our joint plans to transform these unique historic assets.
“This will enable more local people and visitors from around the world to enjoy them, and secure the future of the entire estate, which includes the Royal Pavilion, for generations to come.”
Stuart McLeod, head of Heritage Lottery Fund South East, said: “Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players we’re delighted to support this first crucial step towards the regeneration of Brighton’s cultural heart and securing the future of two of the city’s historic listed buildings.”