Tag Archives: Brighton seafront

Bid to make Brighton seafront a year-round attraction

From The Argus

Brighton seafront from the air

Brighton seafront from the air

A bid to revitalise parts of Brighton and Hove’s aged seafront could get a £24 million funding boost amid a new plan to make it an all year round attraction.

Brighton and Hove City Council has received positive funding news on plans for a new conference centre and arena at Black Rock and the renovation of Madeira Terraces and has also made a five-year improvement plan.

If successful, the bids will add to what Brighton and Hove City Council believes is the biggest programme of seafront investment anywhere in the country to move it away from a seasonal to a year-round visitor attraction.

The news comes 18 months after The Argus launched the Seafront 2020 campaign calling for an ambitious long-term vision for our county’s precious seafront.

One of our most pressing points calling for a five-year plan has now been met in Brighton and Hove with the recent publication of the Seafront Investment Plan 2016-2021.

The extensive report, produced with engineering consultants Mott MacDonald, outlines timelines for major seafront projects already in the pipeline as well as outlining an aspiration to complete the £100 million renovation of seafront arches west of Brighton Palace Pier.

It states: “Much of the coastal city’s visitor offer has been seasonal in the past, reducing the strength of this sector’s contribution to the economy. Development needs to ensure year-round utilisation of the seafront’s offer.

The report adds: “Proposals should support the year-round sport, leisure and cultural role of the seafront for residents and visitors whilst complementing its outstanding historic setting and natural landscape value.

Regarding Madeira Drive the report states the council and partners are working together to “create a year-round usable space that extends the total footfall along the seafront right through to the Marina.”

The report also explores how major projects could be funded with the authority “actively considering” borrowing against forecast business rates growth at an expanded Churchill Square to subsidise the cost of the Black Rock Arena.

Also explored is a possible supplement to business rates which could raise around £2 million a year though the report is quick to stress there are no current plans to bring this in.

Council leader Warren Morgan said: “The Seafront Investment Plan details our vision of how the whole seafront can be improved, the options for funding it and the challenges to be overcome.

“Madeira Terraces is a complex, long-term project but we will stick with it.

“It’s not possible anyway to start immediately because we have so much other regeneration work happening on the seafront.

“Progress is being made towards agreeing the conditional land agreement with Standard Life Investments for the £540 million Brighton Waterfront and we’re aiming to reach this milestone in the coming months.”

One of those major projects is the proposal to create 50 glass-fronted pods to nestle in the restored Madeira Terrace. The council has recently learnt its £4 million bid is through the first round of the Coastal Communities Fund.

The council also hopes to learn whether it has been successful in its £20 million for Local Growth Deal funding for the new centre at Black Rock.

The project was one of six Sussex projects shortlisted which could eventually bring a combined private sector investment of £745 million delivering almost 10,000 jobs, 600 homes and 300,000 sqm of employment space.

Chancellor Philip Hammond will unveil which projects have been successful in his autumn statement next month.

Click here for the full story.

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New £4.5 million open air pool

From The Argus

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Images of what a £4.5 million open air swimming pool complex on Brighton seafront could look like have been revealed.

The Sea Lanes project was awarded a 150-year-old lease for the former and long-vacant Peter Pan’s playground in Madeira Drive at Thursday 28th April’s special policy and resources committee.

It forms part of a wider £1 billion regeneration seafront plan which council leader Warren Morgan has described as the city’s biggest “in a generation”.

The organisers behind the pool complex believe the facility will be the first of its kind in the country.

The facility half a mile east of the Palace Pier would be promoted as a national centre for open water swimming and could be constructed by the end of next year.

It would include a 50-metre eight-lane pool, changing rooms, showers, sauna, studios for training, exercise and yoga, therapy rooms, a café/restaurant, leisure-related shops, offices, function room, bike hire and lockers.

Behind the project, which is being financed purely by private investment, are Brighton developers Copsemill Properties and Hove-based SwimTrek, the UK’s biggest open-water swimming operator which provide holidays, events, races and coaching.

Open-water swimming coaching business Swimmergy and architects We Like Today are also involved in the project for the former Peter Pan’s Playground.

SwimTrek’s Simon Murie said he was not aware of any other privately funded, heated open air 50 metre swimming pool in the country that will be open to the public.

Mr Murie said he hoped the facility could be completed as early as the end of next year if all goes well with the planning application which is set to be submitted at the end of the summer.

Mr Murie said that he hoped the project would help regenerate the Madeira Drive area along with proposals for a zip wire, the Black Rock arena and the reconstruction of the Madeira Terraces.

He added that the pool would help to meet increased demand in the city when the King Alfred, whose pool is currently closed for repairs, is demolished.

Part of the planned swimming pool will include a boardwalk down to the seafront for those who don’t like stepping over Brighton’s pebbly beach and more importantly to improve access to the sea for the elderly and disabled.

Mr Murie said: “Most privately funded pools belong to private clubs but ours will be open to the public which makes it a unique proposal.

“I think it’s definitely got potential for it to go wider, there is a distinct lack of 50 metre pools in the country, and we certainly want this model to expand out whether that is through us or through other businesses.

“We hope people will use the facility as a stepping stone to get into the sea.

“As people come down from the station to the seafront, we hope we will give good reason for them to go left as well as right.”

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