As residents in Brighton and Hove will know, Madeira Terrace is an iconic part of the city’s history. I know that many of my constituents have fond memories of the elegant Grade II-listed arches, which have been the backdrop to many events and occasions over the years.
Sadly, Madeira Terrace has fallen into disrepair. Like much of the seafront, years of under-investment has taken its toll.
Although Madeira Terrace falls just outside of my constituency, the condition of the seafront arches has been a significant concern of mine for many years, and I see protecting our seafront heritage as an issue of city-wide importance.
Previously, I have written to the Brighton and Hove City Council about potential funding avenues they could pursue, such as the Coastal Communities Fund, and the Coastal Revival Fund, which could help bring in some of the additional funds for the structural repairs that are so desperately needed. I have been clear with the council that I would be happy to support any application that they make to source funding for the work needed.
I have also written to the Minister for Coastal Communities about the seafront arches, and invited him to Brighton to see the scale of the work needed in person. But with Central Government squeezing local authority budgets to breaking point, no new funding has been forthcoming to date.
But, as is so often the case, the people of Brighton and Hove have been stepping in.
Since July, the council has been running a crowdfunding campaign, with an initial target of £431,000 to kick start the funding for essential repairs.
It has been amazing to see the response so far, with pledges from around 1,500 people and organisations, the crowdfunder has reached around £300,000.
The campaign aims to restore at least three arches, and hopes help to the community to reimagine how all 151 could be used, with the reestablished arches acting as a showcase for future funding applications.
The way that the city has come together around this typifies the community spirit of Brighton and Hove, and the pride our city has in its history. I hope that the campaign is successful in reaching its goal.
You can donate to the Save Madeira Terraces crowdfunder here: https://www.spacehive.com/madeira-terrace.