Brighton Dome exterior

The potential economic impact of reawakening the Royal Pavilion Estate

One of the key tenets of the project being led by Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival and the Royal Pavilion & Museum - is that in addition to the financial benefits accruing to the two partner organisations there will be economic impact on the city of Brighton & Hove itself.

The project will have a major impact on the local economy through helping to develop, deepen and broaden the cultural tourism offer of Brighton and through increasing visitor spend within the cultural quarter and the city centre.

The Royal Pavilion Estate project is also expected to significantly enhance the quality of the Estate’s visitor offer and the heritage in its care, delivering a legacy of sustainability and resilience which will safeguard its future.

It will do the following:

1. Have a major impact on the local economy through helping to develop, deepen and broaden the cultural tourism offer of Brighton and through increasing visitor spend within the cultural quarter and the city centre.

2. Brighton & Hove’s distinctive destination and lifestyle offer is its USP. It is why people want to live in Brighton & Hove and is the basis of creating a city with the skills and investment to deliver economic growth and prosperity. Quality of place therefore matters and investment in Brighton & Hove’s assets and infrastructure needs to continue, to reflect the importance of culture, leisure and tourism whilst broadening the offer.

3. Enhance the city’s tourism profile. With 8.5 million visitors per year Brighton has a substantial tourism market. Strategically it is looking for more sophisticated interventions designed to help re-shape and reconfigure the tourism profile to encourage longer stays and higher spend. Having an improved world class cultural and heritage destination at the heart of the city will act as a key driver for this process. The project aim is to increase the number of high spending visitors who can be described as ‘purposeful’ cultural tourists: i.e. those who come to Brighton specifically for the cultural and heritage offers

4. A revitalization Royal Pavilion Estate will occur. A number of surveys and footfall counts from April to October 2013 conducted by both custodians, alongside all the venue admissions and audience data have allowed us to calculate passing footfall showing an estimated 4.9m people annually on or around the Estate. The footfall analysis from this work indicates that around 1 in 3 of Brighton’s 8.5m annual visitors pass by the Estate at some point in their visit and 1 in 3 or 4 of the City Centre’s weekly footfall also passes by the Estate. These figures constitute a huge potential annual market for revitalization of the Royal Pavilion Estate.

5. Visitors to the Royal Pavilion Estate will increase. The number of annual visitors that formally engage with RPM and BD&BF is currently 1.32m. Via detailed modeling of the venues, the Royal Pavilion, the Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, we can demonstrate that successfully securing funding for the project will engage another 268,000 to bring the total up to 1.59m – a growth of 20%.

6. There will be more jobs and more opportunities for the people of Brighton & Hove . Whilst the economic impact will be explored in more detail in subsequent development phases, the early indications are that expenditure by increased visitor numbers to the estate could increase additional economic benefits by around £6m and support another 116 jobs. The construction phase of the project could provide 277 construction jobs on a total construction cost of £21.8m with an estimated 44 construction apprenticeships being created. Additionally the scheme will act as a catalyst for the creation of 60 new creative and cultural apprenticeships across the estate and 150 accredited training places for volunteers from currently under-represented communities

Andrew Comben, CEO, Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival, said, “The project will make the Estate financially sustainable for the long-term and give a significant boost to Brighton & Hove’s Economic, Tourism and Cultural aspirations. The Royal Pavilion Estate’s current economic impact to the city is around £62m per year and our two organizations employ over 370 people. Our initial work shows that increased visitor numbers to the Estate would increase economic benefits to the city by around £6m per year and support another potential 116 jobs. In addition, during the proposed construction phase of the project an estimated 44 apprenticeships could be created. Additionally, the proposed scheme will act as a catalyst for the creation of around 70 new creative and cultural apprenticeships across the estate for young people and 150 accredited training places for volunteers. As we know, Brighton & Hove’s creative industries translate directly into employment and prosperity for our whole city. Our plan for the Royal Pavilion Estate builds on that contribution in a very compelling way and we look forward to securing its future. ”

Janita Bagshawe, Head of Museums & Royal Pavilion, said; “Since the 18th century tourism has been central to Brighton & Hove’s economy and the Royal Pavilion Estate has played a crucial role in this. When it was built it supported jobs through construction and other businesses grew to support it. One year when the Royal Household didn't visit a commentator wrote "The pecuniary injury which the town must suffer from the regretted absence of the Monarch is incalculable.” This really demonstrates how vital the Royal Estate is to the city. The Master plan project is about the development of this world class heritage site and ensuring it has long term financial resilience which sustains it for the city.”