Waterfront Project - a new future for Black Rock and the Brighton Centre

On 6 December 2018, the council’s Policy, Resources & Growth Committee agreed that the council should sign the Waterfront Conditional Land Acquisition Agreement (CLAA).

The council has now published a voluntary ex-ante transparency notice (VEAT notice) in the Official Journal of the European Union which gives public notice that the council is intending to enter into the CLAA. The VEAT notice includes a link to this website. View redacted version of the CLAA (PDF 5MB)

The city's huge waterfront regeneration project would see the current Brighton Centre demolished, along with the cinema complex next door. The site would be redeveloped, including extending Churchill Square shopping centre.

A larger replacement conference centre and entertainment venue would be built at Black Rock.

The new venue is vital for the city. It will ensure we can continue to compete with the bigger venues for the  large conferences and major act tours. The venue would draw in extra business and visitors to the city.

The development at Black Rock would help to unlock more investment along Madeira Drive, including the closed-off Madeira Terraces.

New conference and events venue and extension of Churchill Square

We’re working in partnership with a private investor and others to deliver this large scale project which will include:

  • A world class conference and events venue, including an entertainment venue which could be up to 10,000 seats 
  • Transport links from the venue to the city centre and Brighton train station
  • A major expansion and improvement of Churchill Square shopping centre with views directly on to the seafront
  • Improved public spaces in the city

What's happening with the project now?

Plans received a boost in February 2017, with over £12 million of government funding awarded to the project. 

The money has come via the Local Enterprise Partnership. It'll make a significant contribution to the high costs of redeveloping the Black Rock site. The site has been derelict for over 30 years.

A planning application for these enabling works will be submitted at the end of 2019 for a planned start on site in spring/summer 2020. Prior to this, an update report is being taken to the council’s Policy & Resources committee on 5 December 2019.

The future of Black Rock and the current site of the Brighton Centre

The Waterfront Project is at an early stage. This is a long term and large scale project.

The Waterfront Project would involve the council selling the site of the Brighton Centre to Standard Life Investments, owners of Churchill Square shopping centre. We would use the money from the sale to part-fund a new venue at Black Rock.

The remaining funds we need for the new venue would come from rent paid by the operators and income from the project such as additional business rates generated from Churchill Square.

Churchill Square would be extended to the seafront. Significantly enhancing the city’s shopping offer. This is in line with our City Plan to be a regional shopping destination.

Once the partners have reached a legal agreement the next stage would be to develop a scheme with professional architects and engineers. We anticipate that this work would take one to two years. 

Partners will then prepare a planning application for the agreed final scheme. Consultation with communities, businesses and interest groups will also form a vital part of the project.

The completed developments, worth an estimated £540 million, are expected to create 2,000 jobs and boost spending in the city by £150 million annually. They would earn an extra £4.6 million a year for the public purse – seen as crucial in an era of reductions to council funding.

What this project means for the Brighton Centre 

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

We would only make a decision on closure and relocation at the point that the Waterfront Project receives planning approval.

We'll continue to keep the Brighton Centre team informed as the project progresses.

Improving the seafront

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