A phased approach to reawakening Brighton's Royal Pavilion Estate
26 May 2014
In November 2013 an application to the Heritage Lottery Fund was submitted on behalf of the two custodians of the Royal Pavilion Estate (Brighton & Hove City Council’s Royal Pavilion & Museums and Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival), initially for development funds to work up designs to address a series of challenges across the Royal Pavilion Estate.
Unfortunately the bid was unsuccessful however the HLF Trustees were very supportive of our vision and were keen that we consider a phased approach to delivery of the project and have encouraged us to re-apply to them on that basis. A bid for £5m will be entered this August towards the first phase of the long term ambition to reconnect the historic buildings and landscape of the Royal Pavilion Estate.
This first phase of the project will specifically comprise a refurbishment of the Grade I Brighton Dome Corn Exchange, a major renovation of the Grade II Studio Theatre and complements previous major works completed in 2002. It will enable Brighton Dome’s three venues – the Concert Hall, the Corn Exchange and the Studio Theatre - to improve their sustainability, working conditions and facilities, whilst also encouraging new audiences, supporting artist development and enabling the organisation to realise its vision to be one of Europe’s leading arts festivals and a year-round destination for artists and audiences.
Improvements will be explored in terms of audience experience, accessibility and orientation, facilities, improved infrastructure and better visibility for the venue in the city’s Cultural Quarter. The plans will benefit audiences, residents, community groups, schools, resident and visiting artists, tourists, conference delegates, the regional digital community and local businesses among others.
A development grant (of £199k) from Arts Council England (ACE) has already been secured in January 2013 which allowed us to explore concepts and plans for capital development to secure long-term sustainability – specifically focused on Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival’s heritage venues (the Grade I Brighton Dome Corn Exchange and Grade II Studio Theatre). Our overall fundraising strategy seeks to secure further funding not only from the Heritage Lottery Fund but also from a wide range of Trusts & Foundations and from individual donations.
We will continue to work with all our partners and key stakeholders as we jointly progress our ambition to realise the Royal Pavilion Estate as a world class heritage site. It will continue to involve further collaboration and in depth consultation with the public and key stakeholders.