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Arts Council England adds £5.8m to Brighton’s cultural portfolio

 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 – Brighton & Hove City Council and Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival.

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.  

Brighton Dome has five historic spaces under one roof, including the 1,700 capacity Concert Hall, the Corn Exchange and the Studio Theatre. The venues offer stylish state of the art facilities combined with Grade 1 listed heritage, suitable for a multitude of occasions including gala dinners, meetings, conferences and exhibitions.     

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.  

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)  

Andrew Comben, Chief Executive of Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival says: “We are delighted and proud to be awarded this funding from Arts Council England.  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.”  

Julia Gallagher, Head of Sales at VisitBrighton Convention Bureau, added: "Having first-rate cultural facilities is an integral part of Brighton's attraction as a vibrant conference destination.

 Brighton Dome is one of the city's key venues, attracting conference delegates as well as hosting some of the world's most celebrated performers, year-round.  This funding is great news and will not only mean an improved experience for visitors but ensure this very special venue continues to flourish in future." 

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