Brighton Magazine

The Brighton Magazine

Selected Brighton Magazine Article
Thursday 23 October 2014

Brighton Dome Receives Multimillion Pound Grant To Refurbish Its Three Venues

Arts Council England has pledged £5.8m towards a major revitalisation of Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival's heritage venues following a successful bid by the joint custodians of the Royal Pavilion Estate.

The plans form the first phase of a larger and longer term ambition to reconnect the historic buildings and landscape of the Royal Pavilion Estate to create a world class destination for heritage, culture and the performing arts influenced by the unique spirit of Brighton.

This first phase of the project specifically comprises a refurbishment of the Grade I Brighton Dome Corn Exchange, a major renovation of the Grade II Studio Theatre and complements previous major works completed in 2002. 

It will enable Brighton Dome's three venues – the Concert Hall, the Corn Exchange and the Studio Theatre - to encourage new audiences, supporting artist development and enabling the organisation to realise its vision to be one of Europe's leading arts festivals and a year-round destination for artists and audiences.

Andrew Comben, Chief Executive of Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival says: 

"As the first phase of the broader vision for the Royal Pavilion Estate, the development plans for Brighton Dome Corn Exchange and the Studio Theatre form a major part of our goal to be one of Europe's leading arts festivals and a year-round international destination for artists and audiences.

"The improvements to our venue – which will include the provision of a dedicated creation space - will not only enable us to build on our work with artists through our Resident, Associate and visiting companies by bringing their ideas, their creative drive and their insight to our audiences, but also ensure we are able to continue to provide an innovative and sustainable programme of events for all.

"But, this is just the start.  The development plans still rely on an overall fundraising strategy that includes a wide range of Trusts & Foundations, individual donations and phased Heritage Lottery funding applications. 

"We will continue to work with all our partners and key stakeholders as we jointly progress our ambition to realise the Royal Pavilion Estate as a world class heritage site." 

Improvements will be explored in terms of audience experience, accessibility and orientation, facilities, improved infrastructure and better visibility for the venue in the city's Cultural Quarter. 

The main construction proposals include:

* Major improvements to the Studio Theatre including a ground floor bar/café opening on to New Road.

* Creation of a magnificent new Corn Exchange viewing gallery and audience circulation space.

* Transformation of the Corn Exchange with new seating and more efficient infrastructure

* A dedicated creation space.

* Provision for additional offices, back of house accommodation, storage, WCs, catering

* A service tunnel linking all parts of the complex (between the venues)

Hedley Swain, Area Director, South East, Arts Council England added: 

"Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival make an important contribution to the artistic and cultural fabric of Brighton and we are pleased to be able to support its continued development through this capital investment. 

"This project will enhance the experience that it is able to offer to audiences, whilst also supporting the organisation"s long term resilience – both of which are key to its continued success."

by: Mike Cobley


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