Sand festival bid heads for Brighton's Black Rock

Sand sculptures from the Western-Super-Mare festival

Sand sculptures from the Western-Super-Mare festival

First published in News by , Chief reporter

The future for a derelict Brighton development site could be sand castles.

Brighton and Hove City council is expected to approve a three-year deal to introduce Britain’s largest sand sculpture festival to the disused Black Rock site next week.

Organisers of the Weston-Super-Mare Sand Sculpture Festival want to bring the attraction to Brighton from next April.

The Black Rock Project Board said the attraction was the best choice for the site, out of four possible options.

The alternatives were two proposals for sea containers to be used for art and leisure facilities, plus a drive-in cinema.

The council’s Economic Development Committee is recommended to approve consent for the festival to rent the Black Rock site for three years at a meeting on Thursday.

A report ahead of next week’s meeting said the Black Rock Project Board considered the proposals last month.

Festival proposal

It said: “The proposal which scored most highly was the Brighton Sand Sculpture Festival.

“Members of the project board felt that the operator had a proven track record having successfully operated in another seaside resort for seven years.

"The other operators, whilst having had some experience in their chosen fields, were venturing into new territory with their proposals.

"One of the sea container proposals was discounted early on in the assessment due to the requirement from the operator for a five-year minimum lease.

“The drive-in cinema proposed a year-round provision; however the screenings were restricted to after-dark thus not offering a destination or any leisure provision during the daytime. The remaining sea container proposal did not appear to provide a viable all-year round offer.

“A proposal for shared use of the site between the drive-in cinema and the sand sculptures was suggested. However, further investigation revealed that this option was not considered viable on the part of the operators of the drive-in cinema.”

Popular attraction

Founders of the Sand Sculpture Festival said they expected more than 100,000 visitors to the attraction over the three years, with entry costing around £5.

The 6,000 tonnes of sand needed to make the sculptures would need to be imported from a quarry.

Plans for an International Arena were finally dropped in July, nine years after they were first given council backing.

The proposed 7,500-seater indoor arena would have been double the capacity of the Brighton Centre, included an all-year ice rink and more than 100 flats, restaurants, bars and retail facilities.

The city council believed the mothballed development would create between 400 and 450 jobs and bring about £8 million a year into the local economy.

Co-founder of the Sand Sculpture Festival Nicola Wood said: “The Weston exhibition grew from just one sculpture to 4,000 tonnes of sand. We are hoping the Brighton site could build on that.

"We are still in discussion with the council about how big it could be and the costs.”

See the latest news headlines from The Argus:

More news from The Argus

Follow @brightonargus

The Argus: Daily Echo on Facebook - facebook.com/southerndailyecho Like us on Facebook

The Argus: Google+ Add us to your circles on Google+

Comments (8)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

12:36pm Fri 9 Nov 12

Kiddon72 says...

After all the years of this site being derelict is this honestly the best you can come up with ?
After all the years of this site being derelict is this honestly the best you can come up with ? Kiddon72
  • Score: 0

12:39pm Fri 9 Nov 12

mustaphaLeeko says...

Totally agree with the above!

A really cr*ppy idea for a prime seafront site!

I can really see local residents making a bee-line to some big sand castles and no doubt Simpsons character sand replicas that on holiday you studiously avoid!

A complete waste, £5 to see some sand, jog on.....
Totally agree with the above! A really cr*ppy idea for a prime seafront site! I can really see local residents making a bee-line to some big sand castles and no doubt Simpsons character sand replicas that on holiday you studiously avoid! A complete waste, £5 to see some sand, jog on..... mustaphaLeeko
  • Score: 0

12:44pm Fri 9 Nov 12

bluemonday says...

i love it,firstly it's about a sandcastle competition coming to brighton,then it's about an indoor arena with flats,hotels etc being built on an unused site,why don't the council just say what they want to do with the site instead of trying to sweeten people up with the hope of jobs and visitors
i love it,firstly it's about a sandcastle competition coming to brighton,then it's about an indoor arena with flats,hotels etc being built on an unused site,why don't the council just say what they want to do with the site instead of trying to sweeten people up with the hope of jobs and visitors bluemonday
  • Score: 0

12:50pm Fri 9 Nov 12

HJarrs says...

As a temporary measure to fill in a derelict site this seems like a good idea. I seem to remember the sandcastle competition at Blackrock being popular some years ago.
As a temporary measure to fill in a derelict site this seems like a good idea. I seem to remember the sandcastle competition at Blackrock being popular some years ago. HJarrs
  • Score: 0

12:58pm Fri 9 Nov 12

Vigilia says...

I do so hope the gypsies and Irish travellers won't be too inconvenienced by this proposal.
Black Rock has been one of their preferred holiday sites for the past decade or so.
Has a serious racial impact assessment been carried out?
I do so hope the gypsies and Irish travellers won't be too inconvenienced by this proposal. Black Rock has been one of their preferred holiday sites for the past decade or so. Has a serious racial impact assessment been carried out? Vigilia
  • Score: 0

12:59pm Fri 9 Nov 12

Jimmy Stewart's Imaginary Rabbit says...

So, finally official confirmation of the demise of the ice rink plans. (Must have missed the July announcement).

Very disappointed, sandcastles are a very very poor substitute.
So, finally official confirmation of the demise of the ice rink plans. (Must have missed the July announcement). Very disappointed, sandcastles are a very very poor substitute. Jimmy Stewart's Imaginary Rabbit
  • Score: 0

1:19pm Fri 9 Nov 12

bluemonday says...

Vigilia wrote:
I do so hope the gypsies and Irish travellers won't be too inconvenienced by this proposal. Black Rock has been one of their preferred holiday sites for the past decade or so. Has a serious racial impact assessment been carried out?
i think you'll find the "gypsies and irish tavellers" as you put it,probably enjoy making sandcastles as much as the next person and would enjoy the opportunity to mingle with the local community who welcome them,or they could go ice skating if sand is'nt there thing,they may even give the council a good price on tarmacing the car park.
[quote][p][bold]Vigilia[/bold] wrote: I do so hope the gypsies and Irish travellers won't be too inconvenienced by this proposal. Black Rock has been one of their preferred holiday sites for the past decade or so. Has a serious racial impact assessment been carried out?[/p][/quote]i think you'll find the "gypsies and irish tavellers" as you put it,probably enjoy making sandcastles as much as the next person and would enjoy the opportunity to mingle with the local community who welcome them,or they could go ice skating if sand is'nt there thing,they may even give the council a good price on tarmacing the car park. bluemonday
  • Score: 0

1:55pm Fri 9 Nov 12

StyleCop says...

Can someone please explain the location of this site?

Is it;

- The bit inland that contains the Gas Tower?
- The tatty bit that's bordered by the footpaths to the north (undercliff walk) and south side of the marina (to that hand car wash place) surrounded in grafitti fencing?

or both...

Ta.
Can someone please explain the location of this site? Is it; - The bit inland that contains the Gas Tower? - The tatty bit that's bordered by the footpaths to the north (undercliff walk) and south side of the marina (to that hand car wash place) surrounded in grafitti fencing? or both... Ta. StyleCop
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree