Save Madeira Terrace crowdfunding FAQs

Update - December 2019: Please visit the Madeira Terrace webpage for the latest information about Madeira Terrace.

Madeira Terrace logo


What is Madeira Terrace?   

The Grade 2 listed Terrace is an 850 metre long stretch of seafront arches on Madeira Drive in Brighton. It is considered to be the longest cast iron structure in Britain, running from the Aquarium Colonnade to the Volk’s railway maintenance building.

The Victorian Society says it is one of the top 10 most endangered Victorian and Edwardian buildings in England and Wales.

It is the most prominent feature along Madeira Drive and includes a Victorian promenade with raised walkway, access stairs, associated buildings and lift tower.

The Terrace was originally created as a covered prom to attract tourists from London when the new railway opened in the late 1800s.

It was built by borough surveyor Philip Lockwood and opened to the east of Royal Crescent in 1890, before being extended to meet the Aquarium in 1927-29.

Why are you crowdfunding for Madeira Terrace?

Following an unsuccessful £4 million government funding bid the council put together a four-point plan to kick-start the work to save the Madeira Terrace.

The four-point plan includes raising an initial sum from crowdfunding which was one of the suggestions put forward by the public.

Crowdfunding is a modern twist on the traditional way Victorian architectural schemes were funded in the first place. Madeira Terrace’s architect Philip Lockwood himself would have been familiar with the public subscription approach.

Our 21st century crowdfunding will also help highlight the plight of Madeira Terrace to a wider public and potential investors for the whole project, encouraging people to become involved in the long-term scheme.

The four-point plan includes exploring lottery funding, harnessing the energy and creativity of local talent and looking at uses for the area now.

How can I contribute to the fundraising?

To make a pledge go to:

You can also pledge your support by cheque (made payable to Brighton & Hove City Council) c/o VisitBrighton Marketing, 1st Floor Brighton Town Hall, BN1 1JA or donate cash at the Brighton Centre ticket office.

Who is running the Crowdfunding campaign?

The campaign is led by VisitBrighton, the city’s official tourist destination unit, which works with more than 540 local businesses to promote the city to both leisure and conference visitors. It has a strong social media presence throughout the UK and abroad.

VisitBrighton is working in partnership with Brighton & Hove City Council’s Economy, Environment and Culture Directorate and Spacehive, which is providing the crowdfunding platform.

Why are you using Spacehive?

Spacehive specialises in providing crowdfunding platforms for civic projects. Civic crowdfunding offers a way of sourcing the funding needed to get the Madeira Terrace project off the ground as well as tapping into the creativity of Brighton & Hove's local community in shaping the project as it grows.

The social business has successfully funded more than 300 such projects across the UK worth more than £6.5 million.

Brighton & Hove City Council commissioned a contract of £30,000 for a one year pilot for Spacehive to be the council’s strategic partner on crowdfunding initiatives. The first and key project is the regeneration of Madeira Terrace and over the next year Spacehive will help the council inspire communities in the city to start their own crowdfunding campaigns to improve local places.

How much are you aiming to raise from crowdfunding and how will you spend the money?

The crowdfunding campaign is demonstrating public support for the project which can be used as a powerful lever to attract larger funds.

The aim is to raise just over £400,000 through crowdfunding. This is a small part of the estimated £24 million that is needed overall but it will be crucial to get the project off to a flying start.

This seed funding will be used to bring at least three of the 151 arches back into use and to start the journey of rebuilding this magnificent structure for future generations.

We’ll be involving the public on what they would like to see in the refurbished arches which will also provide opportunities for local businesses to trade and benefit from the buzz on Madeira Drive – host to major events such as the London to Brighton veteran car run  and the Brighton marathon.

These refurbished arches will provide a new focal point or “show home” for the long-term project to build engagement and attract investment.

Where will the rest of the money come from?

We will be exploring every possible avenue of funding, both public and private investment.

The council will apply for funds from a variety of revenue streams, including the Heritage Lottery Fund (we are expecting to bid in November); the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Fund and government-backed loans from the Public Works Loans Board.

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

Public sector budgets have been severely reduced in recent years and the local authority now has little money available to invest in such projects.

Like all councils, Brighton & Hove is facing unprecedented financial challenges, with huge demand for its front line services in housing, social care and children’s services.

Council officers are working with partners and local business in the city, using in-house regeneration experience to explore ways of funding the project and ensuring Madeira Terrace can be self-financing once restored.

Why has Madeira Terrace been allowed to get into this state?

Madeira Terrace has weathered the marine environment for more than 100 years. In this environment, maintenance can only achieve so much and a lot of the metal structure needs replacing.

Since 2012, Madeira Terrace has had to be closed to the public as the structure has degraded and become unsafe. Four of the six staircases connecting Madeira Drive to Marine Parade have also been closed.

We need to find a way of giving the Terrace a complete overhaul to bring it back to full use, preserving the heritage of the structure while at the same time creating an enhanced seafront space.

If we are successful in raising funds, how long will it take to restore?

The project will take at least seven years to complete.

What will it look like when restored?

The redevelopment of the Madeira Terraces is being taken forward through the Lockwood Project.

Designs will be sensitive to the structure’s unique heritage and will need to work commercially to pay for its long-term maintenance.

We would be looking for a variety of commercial uses to be placed in the arches of Madeira Terrace. They might be single units, or a combination of two or three.

Uses will be complementary to the area and the vision for this part of the seafront but could include cafes, bars, restaurants, boutique retail, an arts centre, an outdoor sports activity centre, museum space, incubator space for business, boutique hotel or a youth hostel. There are no plans for any residential use.

What benefits would the development bring?

As well as supporting the overall seafront regeneration, the Lockwood Project will create around 150 direct full-time jobs, plus indirect jobs in the wider supply chain and temporary jobs during construction.

We are proposing to redevelop Madeira Terrace in three stages. Once fully open the total rentable area is estimated at around 25,000 square feet. That offers great possibilities for the city, especially on the seafront which attracts millions of visitors every year. The scheme could support investment of around £15 million.

What happens if we do not raise enough money – will Madeira Terrace go the same way as the West Pier?

We are acting now to safeguard the Terrace and are determined to ensure the city does not lose this valuable asset. Madeira Drive is already a prime use on the seafront and a rebuilt Madeira Terrace has enormous potential to contribute enjoyment and economic benefit for the next 100 years.

Why is this project so important?

Rebuilding Madeira Terrace is a key part of our vision for the long-term regeneration of our historic seafront. The project is essential to ensure that the seafront continues to be a year-round place for sustainable tourism, leisure, recreation and culture, which in turn will support our economy and unlock future investment.

It will complement development east of the seafront where there are plans for a new conference centre at Black Rock.

It is important for Madeira Drive as an event space – currently hosting around 20 events each year, many well known nationally.  Madeira Terrace is a natural backdrop for events and regeneration offers the opportunity to make a ‘grandstand’ facility for major occasions again, as it was when it was first built.

Seafront context

More than £1 billion of private or grant-funded investment is planned along the 13km stretch of seafront from Shoreham Harbour to Saltdean.

Key investments

  • British Airways i360 – 170m observation tower cost more than £46 m to build. Has now been open for a year. Associated public realm and landscaping works developed valued at £1.8 m
  • King Alfred Leisure Centre – Development partner appointed - £200m investment
  • Saltdean Lido – First stage funding awarded from HLF and CCF and further funding applied for; partially re-opened.
  • Brighton Marina – second phase of development and expansion programme – 800 flats, retail, commercial units and community spaces
  • Shoreham Harbour Regeneration – Plan sets out redevelopment for housing and new employment space, while retaining the port as a local centre for industry
  • Brighton Waterfront – plans to redevelop the Brighton Centre and extend Churchill Square shopping centre to the beachfront. Estimated cost £540m. Around 2,000 additional jobs would be created by the development, and around £150m pa of net additional expenditure is expected to be generated for the city.
  • Black Rock ​– Developed in the 1930s as an art deco seawater lido. Almost a hectare in size, undeveloped since the 1970s. Earmarked for development as part of the wider ‘Waterfront’ development which includes relocation of the Brighton Centre to Black Rock to provide a 10,000 person conference centre and arena facility.
  • Brighton Zip – Paramount Entertainments Ltd has erected two 300m zip wires on the seafront with a cable from a 20m tower to a landing area on the beach.
  • Sea Lanes – Includes an open water swimming facility and associated leisure retail units at the currently vacant leisure site east of the Palace Pier. Around £4.5m of private investment proposed.
  • Shelter Hall – The work to rebuilt the Shelter Hall and kiosk and strengthen the road at West Sreet is being funded by a £9 million award from the Department for Transport’s Highways Challenge Fund. Refurbished kiosk has re-opened.
  • Volk’s Railway – £1.65 million Heritage Lottery-funded improvements are being carried out to the Volk’s Railway, Britain’s oldest surviving electric railway.