In a letter to Council Leader Phélim Mac Cafferty on 19 January, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities told us that it has rejected our bid for funds for the further restoration of Madeira Terrace.
Restoration Phase 1 unaffected
In November planning permission was granted to start the restoration of the Grade II* listed Terrace. This initial project, known as Phase 1, will see the restoration of 40 arches between the Royal Crescent Steps and Shelter Hall – the Concorde 2 venue.
Funding for Phase One is unaffected by yesterday’s announcement. This work is expected to start on site in the autumn.
Full cost of restoration
In total Madeira Terrace has 151 arches. This bid to the government’s Levelling Up Fund was for £9.5 million to fund the second phase of restoration. In 2017 it was estimated that a full restoration of the terrace in like for like construction would cost at least £24 million.
Councillor Mac Cafferty said:
“I think the whole city will be massively disappointed that the government has rejected our bid for Levelling Up money for the Madeira Terrace restoration.
“The Madeira Terraces restoration is a great project that will generate huge benefits for our local economy and in particular the city's eastern seafront.
“The entire government decision-making process for allocating funding is deeply flawed.
“Cutting council funding across the country by billions and billions of pounds over more than a decade – while forcing councils to bid against each other for ever-shrinking smaller pots of money – is a dreadfully short-sighted way to run local government.
“It is an appalling waste of council resources and staff time. It also creates huge uncertainty. It’s the opposite of what we need for sustainable investment, and it means we are unable to plan for the longer term.
“I would prefer to see a more grown-up relationship with government. One where they release proper sums of regeneration funding to councils – so that we can decide locally how we are going to spend it.
“That way we could plan into the future and deliver better outcomes for all communities.
“Thankfully our upcoming project to restore 40 of the Madeira Terrace arches is not affected by this decision.”