Rejuvenating the Black Rock site

The Black Rock site in Kemp Town, Brighton, is set to be rejuvenated with a project led by Brighton & Hove City Council.

The former lido site lies at the far eastern end of the seafront, west of Brighton Marina. It has been derelict and underused for more than 40 years.

There is now a chance to regenerate the site and the council is holding two public engagement events to hear the views of residents and stakeholders ahead of submitting a planning application.

Aims of the project

The aims of the project are to prepare the site for leisure or recreation use, improve access and the appearance of the land, and deliver a wider package of improvements including more attractive public space, restoration of the Grade 2 listed reading rooms, and a bigger and more protected space for the shingle wildlife area.

Proposals include:

  • Clearing the site (removing lido foundations, old sea defences and anchors, and a disused military pillbox) and improving the look of the area 
  • Creating space for events and recreation (such as a multi-use games area)
  • Improving access for cyclists and pedestrians, including a fully accessible pathway along a rebuilt and extended sea wall, and a new link for cyclists and pedestrians between Madeira Drive and Brighton Marina via Black Rock
  • Renovating the Grade-II listed Old Reading Room, making it available for future letting for a suitable use
  • Making a new pedestrian link from the Volk’s Workshop at Duke’s Mound via a beach boardwalk and the new sea wall into the south part of Brighton Marina

A new vision for Black Rock

Rejuvenating the Black Rock site has long been overdue and is a vital part of reconnecting and opening up the eastern seafront.

By improving access to the site, renovating the Old Reading Room and Temple, and improving the local area, the project aims to respect the history and heritage of Brighton & Hove’s seafront whilst helping to write a new chapter.

Leader of the council, Nancy Platts, said: “The Black Rock site has been derelict for around 40 years and we now have a golden opportunity to breathe new life into this important, but neglected part of our seafront. 

“I am excited by the prospect of regenerating this area and the potential to improve walking and cycling routes at this end of the city.

“We need to know what the community think of the proposals so I am really pleased that we are hosting two events for local people to have their say.   I hope people who live and work nearby will come along and give us their feedback on our ideas.”

“Once this project is complete, we’ll have the opportunity to create a new future for Black Rock and improve the area for residents and visitors.”

Public views sought on Black Rock

Before the planning application is submitted, the council is organising two public involvement sessions where residents will be invited to view the plans, ask questions and provide feedback.

The events are being held on:

  • Wednesday 27 November, 2-7.30pm at St George’s Church, St George's Road, Kemp Town, Brighton, BN2 1ED
  • Thursday 28 November, 2-7.30pm in the Function Room of The Master Mariner, Marina Square, Brighton Marina, BN2 5WA

Following public engagement, the Policy & Resources Committee will discuss proposals for Black Rock on Thursday 5 December. 

At the same meeting, the committee will also review the Waterfront Project and the future of The Brighton Centre. Reports for the Policy & Resources Committee are due to be published on Wednesday 27 November.

There will be a further opportunity to comment on the Black Rock proposals when the planning application is submitted. This is expected to be mid-December.
If all approvals are in place, work at Black Rock is scheduled to begin next year. Completion is targeted for Spring 2021.

Find out more about the Black Rock project

Related news