Brighton turns to crowdfunding for regeneration

Brighton and Hove council has turned to crowdfunding to help kickstart the regeneration of a Grade 2-listed Victorian terrace.

The council has launched the appeal through Spacehive, and aims to raise around £400,000 towards the repair of a section of Madeira Terrace, which runs along Madeira Drive on Brighton’s seafront.

The crowdfunding page was launched earlier this month and has already raised £144,000 with the help of 595 backers.

The £400,000 target is a small part of the estimated £24m needed to complete the project, but the council said the money will be ‘crucial to get the project off to a flying start’.

The terrace itself has been closed to the public since 2012, as the structure has degraded and become unsafe.

The crowdfunding money will be used to bring at least three of the 151 arches back into use.

The council is proposing to redevelop the terrace in three stages. Once fully open, the redeveloped terrace will have around 25,000 sq ft of rentable area.

‘The crowdfunding appeal is just one part of our plan to raise the money needed to get the restoration of the Madeira Terraces underway,’ said council leader, Warren Morgan.

‘Ahead of our lottery funding bid going forward in the autumn, I am proposing that the council commits a million pounds to the project funded from the revenue we get from the new observation tower, i360. This will not prevent us using further capital funding at a later stage, but for this project to succeed we need donations, significant borrowing, private investment, lottery funding and more. The council cannot do this alone.’

The council is set to apply for funds from other revenue streams to help with the project, including the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Coast to Coast Local Enterprise Fund and the Public Works Loan Board.

The terrace was originally built by borough surveyor Philip Lockwood and first opened back in 1890.

The 850-metre long stretch of arches is considered to be one of the longest cast iron structures in Britain and the Victorian Society regards Madeira Terrace as one of the 10 most endangered Victorian and Edwardian buildings in England.

’As a visitor destination, our city has succeeded where many other places have struggled but we know a combined and consistent effort to keep our visitor offer fresh and attractive is key to this,’ said the council’s head of tourism and venues, Howard Barden.

‘Madeira Drive is in a prime location that already hosts popular events such as the Brighton Marathon, London to Brighton Veteran Car Run and the Annual Speed Trials. Restoring our Victorian terraces is important not only in preserving a significant part of Brighton’s seafront heritage but to breathe new life into an area that is now in need of some serious TLC.

‘We’re not looking to raise funds for the whole of the restoration works but we do need support to raise an initial amount to get the ball rolling. This campaign is about galvanising support to preserve something old while at the same time providing new business opportunities and an enhanced seafront space for residents and visitors to enjoy for generations to come,’ added Mr Barden

  • Watch a YouTube video of the scheme here.


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