A new future for Black Rock

Reconnecting Black Rock

The vacant Black Rock site is at the far eastern end of Brighton seafront, close to Brighton Marina. It has been run-down and underused for over 40 years. 

The long-term plan is to develop and regenerate the area but it is difficult to get to by public transport and the site is not able to be redeveloped until underground obstructions are removed and other works can be undertaken. 

The site has always been popular with event organisers because of its size and seafront location.

We want to help improve the area and increase its use. We plan to make it more attractive to temporary event organisers. We also want to improve the lighting and overall public space to make it a more accessible and attractive place to visit.

Regenerating the Black Rock site is important for the wider regeneration of the eastern seafront and it will support the future restoration of Madeira Terrace and Madeira Drive.

What is happening now

We have submitted a planning application in February 2020 to help future development proposals and deal with the existing site constraints following public engagement sessions in November 2019.

The main works included in the planning application are:

  • remove and relocate underground obstructions, like the remains of the old Black Rock lido
  • rebuild and extend the sea wall to improve sea defences and improve connection to the Marina
  • restore the Grade 2 listed reading rooms and Temple
  • install a beach walkway from the recently completed Volk's Workshops to Black Rock and to link with the new pedestrian walkway along the extended seawall towards Brighton Marina. 
  • improve signage, seating, lighting and ecological interpretation and create areas of greater biodiversity 
  • create a play area and temporary outdoor sports facilities including a pump track for cyclists to use year round 
  • create a short section (approximately 20m) of infrastructure beneath the existing lower marina ramp to create an access point for future public transport links. This will also open up access to Brighton Marina and the cliff walk
  • install crossing points and improve pedestrian access between the A259 seafront road and Madeira Drive at Duke’s Mound
  • improve public space for events
  • new planting and landscaping, which includes work to relocate and expand the shingle wildlife area to a protected area of the beach
  • explore the opportunity to improve the pedestrian link to the Kemptown Slopes from the A259

The work is being funded by the local enterprise partnership, coast to capital LEP, under it's Local Growth Fund Initiative. 

How you can get involved

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Waterfront project

The Waterfront project is a multi-million pound scheme to redevelop the Brighton Centre site, extend the Churchill Square shopping centre and provide a new replacement conference centre and entertainment venue in the city.

A new Brighton Centre will ensure we can continue to compete with the bigger venues for large conferences and major act tours to support our local economy.

Plans for the Waterfront are currently at an early stage. It is a long-term and large-scale project that we’re working on with Aberdeen Standard Investments.

Until 5 December when the council agreed to postpone proposals, the Black Rock site had been the preferred location for the relocation of the Brighton Conference Centre. These plans currently remain on hold and councillors have agreed to allow a 12 month time period for Aberdeen Standard Investments to explore a replacement or the current venue as part of a wider redevelopment of the central site (Kingswest, Debenhams, Brighton Centre site and NCP carparks).

The Brighton Centre will continue to remain open for the foreseeable future. You can contact the Brighton Centre team to find out about holding conferences and events on the Brighton Centre website.

An update on the Waterfront project and the Black Rock regeneration scheme will be discussed at the Policy & Resources Committee on 5 December.

Improving the seafront

Find out about other ongoing projects and plans to improve on the seafront.