24 March 2015

City council welcomes £9 million for seafront investment

Repairs to a key part of Brighton’s seafront will go ahead thanks to a successful £9 million bid to the Department for Transport’s Highways Maintenance Challenge Fund.

The council will now be able to carry out urgent reconstruction of the former West Street Shelter Hall, part of the historic Arches. Built in the 1880s this unusual building actually supports the upper promenade at the junction of the A259 and West Street and is in a very poor condition and needs to be replaced. 

Major regeneration of the city’s seafront is also being supported through Brighton & Hove’s Local Transport Plan, approved by the Policy & Resources Committee last week, before the bid outcome was known. Councillors approved spending of £250,000 from the budget so that work can start as soon as possible on the Shelter Hall.

Councillor Ian Davey, lead member for transport, said: “This is great news for the ongoing regeneration of the seafront and a real boost for the city. This £9m is probably the biggest single financial award for transport that Brighton & Hove has ever received.

“It will enable us to reconstruct the derelict Victorian former shelter hall and allow this busy junction to be remodelled to help people move and traffic flow more smoothly. It will also provide a great new seafront business location on the popular lower promenade as well as new public toilets. This much-needed cash injection  follows on from the £7m plus that we have already invested in reconstruction of the arches around the I360 site and proves that where we have the confidence and vision to invest more will follow."

The seafront is the city’s most popular attraction with visitors and residents alike, contributing significantly to the city’s tourism economy which is valued at £800 million a year.

Ten restored Victorian seafront arches under the Kings Road were opened last year and funds from the latest Local Transport Plan will support Phase 2 of the Arches strengthening work, next to the i360 viewing tower site; due for completion this autumn.