Further to Piece Regen’s appointment to inspire creative reuse and funding for the Madeira Terrace in Brighton we are delighted to report that the campaign to #SaveBrightonTerraces is gaining momentum.
The Grade II listed Madeira Terrace on Brighton’s seafront is thought to be the longest cast iron structure in the world with 850 metres of iconic arches. Constructed from 1890-1897 as the place to promenade, the historic structure was once much visited but despite Madeira Drive remaining the focal point for major events such as the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run, the Madeira Terrace has sadly been closed to the public since 2012 due to safety concerns around the degraded structure.
However, a successful crowdfunding campaign has seen more than 2000 individual backers raise a total of £463,007 (10% more than its original target) with Crowdfunding expert Spacehive citing the campaign as the most ambitious ever to be run on its platform. The successful campaign now unlocks a further £1million of funding from Brighton & Hove City Council and facilitates an exciting initial project to fully restore 3 of the 151 arches. The first three western end arches have been identified as they are closest to the main pier thoroughfare and will therefore provide the most visible showcase for the terrace’s potential once restored.
With many people continuing to come forward to support the campaign after the crowdfunding deadline, a Madeira Terrace Restoration Fund has now been established (for details on how to donate please visit www.visitbrighton.com/save-madeira-terrace). Local brewers Brighton Bier will even be supporting the restoration fund by donating 25% of the profits from a specially brewed beer; Mabiera reflects the challenge of regenerating the Madeira Terrace for future generations by blending classic hops with a new experimental variety.
Another major piece of the puzzle in securing full long-term funding for the restoration of the remaining 148 arches is the submission of a bid for Heritage Lottery Funding. Piece Regen have recently submitted the bid complete with some high-profile backing. Having previously featured as one of the Victorian Society’s Top Ten Endangered Buildings, the Society’s president Griff Rhys Jones, is supporting efforts to save the Madeira Terrace, writing:
"The Victorians were the inventors of the identity of the British seaside. The Bank Holiday Act of 1871 created holidays for working families across Britain. Piers, winter gardens, Lidos and even whole towns followed. The emphasis was on exuberance and delight.
There are few such simple, impressive and beautiful examples of Victorian seaside charm as the eight hundred and fifty meters of cast iron arches known as Madeira Terrace…The community values and cherishes this important structure. They need supporting. The arches are a wonderful evocation of seaside Brighton. Simple, elegant and irreplaceable. They are Victorian decorative art at its very best. And they are the identity of the city. Wholly visible, delicate and appropriate they cannot possibly be lost. I urge HLF to do what it can to support their repair for new generations to enjoy."