Planning permission has been granted for plans to develop the Brighton Dome Corn Exchange and Studio Theatre as the first phase of a larger and longer term ambition to reconnect and reunite the Royal Pavilion Estate.
The first phase of the proposed development specifically comprises a refurbishment of the Grade I Corn Exchange, a major renovation of the Grade II Studio Theatre (formerly Pavilion Theatre) and complements previous major works completed in 2002. It will enable the Dome’s three venues – the Concert Hall, the Corn Exchange and the Studio Theatre - to work together more efficiently and improve their sustainability, working conditions and facilities. .
Improvements will be explored in terms of audience experience and orientation, conferencing facilities, technical equipment storage, improved infrastructure and better visibility for the venue and the organisation in the city’s Cultural Quarter. 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.
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 Heritage Lottery Fund has already 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. This joins £5.8m from Arts Council England in helping the two organisations progress the first phase of the 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.
The project will be delivered by two of the UK’s leading cultural and heritage organisations, the Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove and Brighton Dome & Festival which manage and cares for the Royal Pavilion Estate owned by Brighton & Hove City Council.
For more information about the project click here