Madeira Terrace frequently asked questions - August 2019

What is the current long term plan for Madeira Terrace?

Plans led by the council in partnership with the community will involve the complete retention and restoration of the Terrace in planned phases.

Restoration of the Terrace is central to regeneration plans for Madeira Drive and the aim is for the Terrace to be self-sustaining in future. New businesses and a more accessible, much improved public space will contribute to this by drawing residents and visitors to the area and creating a new, cultural and wellbeing focussed, leisure destination for the city.

Why is Madeira Terrace closed off?

Parts of Madeira Terrace were closed following structural engineers' advice. Permanent anti-climb fencing was installed in early 2016.

Surveys showed that the steel beams embedded in the concrete, supporting the deck of the Terrace, have corroded and some parts of the cast iron have come to the end of their useful life. 

How much will it cost to restore Madeira Terrace?

In 2017, it was estimated that a full restoration of the Terrace (all 151 arches) in ‘like for like’ construction would cost around £30m.

Why can’t the council pay for all of the restoration?

The council has a limited budget to spend on a vast range of essential services and can’t afford to spend this amount of money on one project, in one go. 

Can you get lottery money to pay for the restoration?

Lottery grants wouldn’t cover the cost of the whole restoration as their funding limit is up to £5M but this money would make a huge difference. We have previously made two bids to the National Lottery Heritage Fund but have not been awarded funding. The NLHF said there was nothing wrong with our bids, but they simply don’t have enough money for all the projects that applied. Madeira Terrace is eligible to bid for NLHF funding and it is our intention to try again in early 2020. More information about The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

How much money do you have to restore Madeira Terrace at present?

In total, there is £2,440,000 set aside for the project:

£440k was raised through crowdfunding and is held in a separate account until the location of the first arches to be restored is decided.

£2 million has been set-aside from council reserves.

How and when will you spend this money?

At the council’s Tourism, Development & Culture committee in June 2019, it was agreed that £550k from the £2m reserves will be spent on getting the first phase of the project underway.

This first step is to recruit a design team who can explore options and produce detailed plans for the work needed to restore 30 arches, including the 3 crowdfunded arches.

Who will be in the design team and what will they do?

A team of professionals, including architects, structural engineers, landscape architects and mechanical engineers will be appointed. Their work will take into account the council’s pledge to become carbon neutral by 2030 and include:

  • exploring how to use the natural resources already available to provide power and water to Madeira Terrace
  • considering how water and power connections can be best placed to support events on Madeira Drive and Madeira Terrace
  • exploring options to use sustainable materials, such as solar on the deck of the Terrace
  • understanding how much of the existing structure can be re-used/restored with the aim of re-instating crowds on the deck level for events
  • considering options for sustainable urban drainage in front of Madeira Terrace
  • exploring options for conservation of the existing Green Wall and how to increase biodiversity
  • working with a Masterplanning team to consider aspects including public transport, access and public realm within the eastern seafront area
  • producing professional drawings to RIBA stage 4, ready for the build
  • costing the different restoration options
  • exploring potential uses for the restored arches

An advisory panel with representatives from community groups and businesses will also work alongside the council in bringing forward the Madeira Terrace restoration.

Community input is crucial to making the restoration a success and the advisory panel will open up a practical way for interested parties to stay involved, reflect the needs of the community areas they represent and help place their vision at the heart of the restoration. This group will meet for the first time on 11 September 2019.

How long will it take to get a design team in place?

We’re aiming to have a design team in place by Spring 2020.

Why does the process take this long?

The council is required to follow a regulated procurement process. The process takes time but is about ensuring the right team of professionals and contractors are found in a fair and transparent manner. 

Who and what will determine which arches are restored first?

Recommendations for the location of the first 30 arches to be restored will be made by the appointed design team. The recommendations will then be put to the council’s Tourism, Equalities, Culture & Communities and Policy & Resources committees. A decision will be made based on what is best for the project, within the context of what is viable and affordable. Work done by the design team, alongside the views of the community will be taken into consideration.

How are you going to raise the rest of the money needed to complete the project?

The plan has always been to restore the arches in stages. Fundraising is ongoing and includes exploring public and private funding options.

The council submitted an Expression of Interest to the National Heritage Lottery Fund (NLHF) in April 2019 and is now considering whether it is practical to take this further at this time.

Other funding organisations under consideration include:

  • Esmée Fairbairn
  • Ellen McArthur Foundation (EMAF)
  • Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership (Local Growth Fund)
  • Coastal Revival Fund
  • NLHF Climate Change Fund

Save Madeira Terraces Raffle Group has raised over £30k. For details about how to get involved in community activities, contact Jax: chemicaljax@ntlworld.com

Specially commissioned branded merchandise featuring Madeira Terrace is available to buy:

China mugs, designed by local artist Martha Mitchell: £12
Re-usable hot drink mugs: £12

Available from:

Profits from the sale of these items will go to the Madeira Terrace Restoration fund.

The aim of the crowdfunding campaign was to restore three arches to use as a showcase, why has this not been done yet? 

Recent exploration of restoring just three arches and a petition presented by the Save Madeira Terrace Raffle Group has resulted in a re-think of how the crowd funded arches are delivered. Restoring more arches at the same time provides economies of scale, and will provide much better value for money over the long-term.

What has happened to the crowdfunded money?

All proceeds of the crowdfunding campaign, along with donations made to the restoration fund, are in a secure account earning interest. 

The crowdfunding campaign ended in November 2017, what progress has been made since then?

After the crowdfunding campaign ended, the focus was to bring in additional funds from National Lottery Heritage fund (NLHF) to make the money go further. Unfortunately both bids were unsuccessful, despite positive feedback from the NLHF who are vastly oversubscribed for project funding. After appointing a dedicated Project Manager in late 2018 the initial focus was to deliver the 3 crowd funded arches. A petition from the community in March 2019 asking for work to start towards the eastern end of the terrace instead of the western end, as per the original plan, resulted in a delay to this while steps to explore the option further were considered.

In June 2019, the Tourism, Development & Culture committee agreed to commit £550k to appoint a design team who will make recommendations about the best place to begin restoration work as well as progress the design work in consultation with community representatives on the Advisory Panel.

Why has work onsite not yet started?

The council, like all Local Authorities has limited resources and has to make tough decisions as to where to prioritise them for best effect. 

Limited resources

Initially, we focussed on bidding for more money eg from HLF (now NLHF) as this would have allowed us to spend more efficiently and achieve more for the project in the long run. For example, had our first HLF bid been successful, we would have been able to use the money to restore at least 60 arches and the council funds would have been used to pay for actual restoration work, with HLF funding the development stage. The council will now pay for this itself (up to a maximum of 550k) but continue to seek funding for the capital restoration works. 

Economies of scale

The Terrace restoration will always achieve better economies of scale by working towards delivery of a larger proportion of the arches. The work and costs involved to restore 10 arches could be almost the same as those needed to restore 30 arches as the fixed costs do not change but unit cost reduces considerably if more work is done at one time.

The community clean-ups have stopped due to safety concerns. When will they be resolved so that community clean-ups can start again?

Contractors are to start removing hazardous guttering on 2 September 2019. Once this work has finished, we hope the community clean-ups can resume soon after. 

How are rough sleepers getting on to the Terrace and why are you allowing them to stay there?

Rough sleeping is happening across Brighton. The Terrace is not a safe place for anyone to be and people who access it are trespassing. We are not allowing people to sleep here but the very nature of rough sleeping is a complex issue and needs careful and sensitive management.

Rubbish on the upper terrace is clearly visible and looks unsightly, why is this not being removed?

Due to the poor condition of the structure, removal of rubbish currently involves specialist safety equipment and contractors, which is costly and therefore we’re not able to clear the area as often as we would like.

How can I support the restoration project?

There are a number of ways you can get involved:

Thank you for your support. Together we can do this!