Photo by Victor Frankowski

HLF earmarks £5m to Royal Pavilion Estate

Brighton & Hove City Council and Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival are delighted to announce that their joint vision to revitalise the Royal Pavilion Estate has received a significant funding boost from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

The Heritage Lottery Fund has earmarked a sum of £5m to the project - subject to plans being successfully developed to the next stage for which they are providing development funding of £176,500 upfront. The news joins the recent award of £5.8m from Arts Council England in helping the two organisations progress the first phase of the long term ambition to reconnect the historic buildings and landscape of the Estate and to create a centre for heritage, culture and the performing arts which reflects the unique spirit of Brighton.

This first phase of the project will include a major refurbishment of Brighton Dome Corn Exchange and Studio Theatre in which - alongside essential conservation work – breathtaking and hitherto hidden heritage spaces will be restored for public viewing; as well as the development of a new interpretation strategy and activity plan for the Estate to reveal inspirational stories, unfold layers of history, thought and knowledge and help more people learn, understand and care about the Estate and its history.

Combining an historic Royal Palace and regency garden, a museum, art gallery and three performing arts spaces, the Royal Pavilion Estate is the city of Brighton & Hove’s cultural heart and the Royal Pavilion its internationally recognised emblem. Its magnificence, its boldness of design and daring experimentation with form established Brighton’s reputation two centuries ago. That heritage is increasingly becoming in need of preservation and the city’s cultural, creative and economic future depends on a plan that makes it possible for the Estate to live up to its potential as a world class heritage and cultural destination.

The work will encourage new audiences, support artist development and transform visitors’ experience of the venues. It will deliver improvements in accessibility, facilities and infrastructure, and will benefit local residents, community groups, schools, artists, tourists, the regional digital community and local businesses amongst others.

The project will be delivered by two of the UK’s leading cultural and heritage organisations, Royal Pavilion & Museums and Brighton Dome & Festival which manage and cares for the Royal Pavilion Estate owned by Brighton & Hove City Council.

Andrew Comben, CEO, Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival said: “We are delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has followed Arts Council England (ACE) in providing the next tier of funding for this project. It is a fantastic endorsement of our vision and - with the support of two such major funders - we have a really strong foundation to embark on our fundraising campaign as we work towards construction starting in autumn 2016.”

Janita Bagshawe, Director, Royal Pavilion & Museums said: "I am really pleased that the bid has been successful. This project is vital to the heart of the city and means that the important work of planning a sustainable future for the Royal Pavilion Estate can continue. To that end we will be working with all our partners to revitalize and preserve the heritage of this extraordinary estate in a manner fit for the 21st century.”

Stuart McLeod, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund South East, said: “Today’s initial HLF support marks the first step on an exciting journey for the Royal Pavilion Estate in the heart of Brighton. Plans can now get underway for this multi-phased project, the first of which will restore and reinvigorate the nationally important corn exchange and studio theatre. The strong partnership between Brighton & Hove City Council and Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival is impressive and we’re confident this project will yield some great results for the heritage and people of Brighton.”