12 December 2014


Brighton & Hove City Council is currently exploring an opportunity to deliver a major new conferencing and events venue for the city on the Black Rock site next to the Marina.

At the same time, the Council, with Standard Life Investments, is exploring the potential for a significant enhancement of the city’s shopping offer through an expansion of Churchill Square shopping centre, taking advantage of the opportunity provided by relocating the city’s main conference venue.

Both projects  would also begin to fulfil the aspirations set out in the City Plan with regard to a strategic approach towards housing, the economy, shopping and transport.

Following a period of intense work on the feasibility of the project, the Policy and Resources Committee on 16 December 2014 will be considering the project and whether to confirm the Council’s commitment to the project and to work towards signing a development agreement with the project partners in 2015. .

Plans for both are still at a very early stage.

Executive Director Geoff Raw said; “ We believe we have a once in a generation opportunity to deliver a range of benefits for the city in partnership with the private sector.  We have worked hard with Standard Live Investments and Venue Ventures to ensure the project is deliverable before seeking approval to take it to next stage from the Policy & Resources Committee.  If the committee agrees with the report we will aim to sign a development agreement in the first half of 2015.”

If delivered the new venue would attract a wide range of entertainment and conference events to the City, attracting more visitors and delivering greater economic benefit than the existing Brighton Centre.

The extended shopping centre would ensure the city is supported in becoming a regional shopping destination, strengthening its position on the south coast and ensuring competing shopping centres do not take away market share.

Overall, it is estimated that once operational the project would generate approx. 2,000 net new jobs and approx. £150m per annum of net additional expenditure in the city.

Both sites could also deliver around 450 new homes which would help fund the overall project and reduce the investment required from public sources.  Overall the project is aiming to provide up to 25% of the new homes as affordable.

The project would enable significant regeneration of the city centre and Black Rock areas and improve the Council’s overall financial position through increased Council Tax, New Homes Bonus and Business Rate receipts.

The Council is considering both day to day and event specific transport options for the development. The proposals will seek to link the station and the existing hotels and tourism infrastructure with the development sites.

Editor’s notes

Get the papers for the Policy and Resources Committee meeting on 16 December

If a decision is taken to pursue the opportunity in further detail there will be full and robust communication and engagement to and with the whole community


  • The site under consideration for the events venue, next to the Marina, is owned by the City Council.
  • Feasibility work is being undertaken to understand the potential of the project and this includes understanding the views of the business and tourism community in the city. These discussions are underway and are integral to forming an understanding on whether the city council can support the project.