FAQs

Why are you doing this renovation project?

The Royal Pavilion Estate is cherished by local people and is a tourist destination for millions of visitors each year, contributing significantly to the local economy, but it can only be maintained for future generations with ongoing care and support.

Brighton & Hove City Council, Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival, and the Royal Pavilion & Museums Trust are working in partnership to protect and restore this historic site, starting with Phase One, the major refurbishment of Brighton Dome Corn Exchange and Studio Theatre.

By revitalising and reconnecting the estate at the heart of the city, we will be regenerating the world-class destination bringing together heritage with culture and the performing arts, infused with the vibrant spirit of Brighton's past, present and future.

Why do you need to do these works now?

A sustainable future for the entire Estate will only be possible with significant investment. Whilst the buildings are magnificent, they are also facing unique challenges and are in need of essential restoration and upgrade.

A re-development project was originally undertaken between 1999 and 2002, which included the Brighton Museum & Art Gallery along with areas of the Brighton Dome Concert Hall and Corn Exchange. However, work principally focused on the main Concert Hall leaving the Studio Theatre and elements of the Corn Exchange relatively untouched.

The Grade I listed Corn Exchange was at risk due to limited funds to invest in its repair and restoration. It is crucial that Brighton Dome remains adequately and safely equipped to present a successful programme of events to attract visitors to the city which contributes to the local economy.

What are the key benefits of the project for Brighton & Hove?

Combining an historic royal palace and Regency garden, a museum, art gallery and our three performing arts spaces, the Royal Pavilion Estate is the city’s cultural heart and the Royal Pavilion its internationally recognised emblem.

The project will help secure the future of these unique historic assets, enabling more local people as well as visitors from around the world to enjoy them for generations to come. It is anticipated that the revitalised Royal Pavilion Estate will support 1,241 FTE jobs and have an economic impact of £68m. It will deliver improvements in accessibility, facilities and infrastructure and will benefit local residents, community groups, schools, artists, tourists, and local businesses amongst others.

How is the refurbishment being funded?

The majority of funds towards the phase one refurbishment costs have been secured from a range of sources, including major contributions from Arts Council England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund, as well as commitments from a number of charitable trusts and individual donors and council capital funding. Further fundraising initiatives include a community appeal and name a seat in the new venues.

See our list of supporters here.

What improvements are being made as part of Phase One?

Visit The Improvements page for full details of the refurbishment plans.

When is Phase One due to be completed and the venues re-open?

The refurbishment project began in 2017 and despite the many complexities of restoring a heritage building - including the unexpected discovery of a Quaker burial ground and the recent challenges caused by the coronavirus pandemic - the refurbishment is progressing into the final phase of development with expected completion in 2022, exact re-opening dates to the public are to be confirmed.

You can see how the project has progressed in Work So Far.

Will the Concert Hall remain open?

Brighton Dome Concert Hall has remained open throughout the redevelopment apart from during periods of lockdown. We have also been programming some of our events in partner venues across the city, including the Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts (ACCA) at University of Sussex, which are hosting our Coffee Concerts.

How can we support the project?

There are many ways you can help to support this unique project either through a donation or corporate gift, naming a seat in our new spaces, or volunteering with our heritage team.

You can make an online donation and every £1 you donate to our community appeal will be match funded by The Roddick Foundation.

If you are interested in becoming a major supporter or would like more details about naming a seat  please contact:

Carla Pannett, Head of Capital and Major Giving: carla.pannett@brightondome.org