Editor's Blog

All things Brighton beautiful
The Grade I listed Brighton Dome has worn many disguises over the last 200 years, having served variously as a stable block, a military hospital and a roller skating rink.

The building’s place in history was cemented in 1974, when it hosted Abba’s victory in the Eurovision Song Contest with Waterloo, and since then it has settled down to become the multi-arts and events venue we know today.

It’s currently in the midst of a £21 million refurbishment - and the aim is to bring out the building’s heritage story. It’s just the first phase of an over-arching culture and heritage-led development plan for the Royal Pavilion Estate which is being developed in partnership with Brighton & Hove City Council and the Royal Pavilion and Museums. 

I got a sneak peek of how things are coming along on a hard hat tour of the site last week. The Corn Exchange, formerly the Prince Regent’s riding house, is one of the main focuses of the first phase. It’s in the middle of being stripped out and renovated (pictured), but even in its current state it’s still a stunning space, with its high ceilings, huge windows and unique roof timbers.

Since the summer, the Corn Exchange work has shifted more from demolition to construction, with the installation of steel works for flooring, repairs to roof timbers and brick walls, as well as roof slates being stripped off. There was also the gargantuan task of digging out a brand new basement space – and ferrying the resulting tonnes of rubble out of the Corn Exchange’s double doors.

The scale of the refurbishment is impressive and sure to make the Corn Exchange one of the hottest event spaces in the South East when the work is finally over.

As well as the Corn Exchange, the smaller Studio Theatre is also being overhauled to include new balcony seating and the building is set to get a brand new gallery space that will be available for event hire.

You can read more about the Brighton Dome refurb – plus case studies, buyer recommendations and news on developments at Brighton Pier, the Grand Brighton and much more - in the Brighton feature in the January issue of M&IT.

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