A multimillion pound redevelopment of an historic arts centre could be on the cards.
Brighton Dome and Brighton Festival has been handed about £200,000 from the Arts Council to draw up plans to improve its listed venues in Pavilion Gardens, Brighton.
Bosses at the organisation claim it is the first step towards a wider redevelopment project which will help secure its long-term sustainability.
They add it forms a major part of Brighton Dome and Brighton Festival’s 2020 vision: to be one of Europe’s leading arts festivals and a year-round destination for artists and audiences.
Andrew Comben, chief executive of Brighton Dome and Brighton Festival, said: “Brighton Dome is a key part of the Royal Pavilion Estate and the city’s rich heritage.
“We want to ensure that it is preserved whilst it also continues to flourish as a vibrant cultural destination for residents, audiences, artists and visitors.
“With these plans we have an opportunity to make our organization more sustainable and enhance everyone’s experience of Brighton’s Cultural Quarter.
“We look forward to developing our plans in partnership with the local community over the coming months and ensuring we can continue to be a sustainable, innovative organisation and act as a bridge to the arts for all.”
The funding, announced this morning, will go towards drawing up detailed plans.
Arts Council England has promised investment of £5.8m into the project should plans be successfully developed to the next stage.
Among the proposals will be opening up the buildings to the wider public, creating an education hub and improving and expanding the venues - Brighton Dome, Corn Exchange and Studio Theatre.
Sally Abbott, south east regional director at Arts Council England, said: “Brighton Dome and Brighton Festival is an important asset for Brighton and Hove and the south east, attracting arts and cultural audiences in their thousands and ploughing millions of pounds into the local economy each year.
“We’re absolutely delighted to be inviting Brighton Dome and Brighton Festival to apply for stage two of our large-scale capital funding programme to revitalise its beautiful heritage venues.
“This development will secure and further promote the venue’s position as a world-class cultural venue for future audiences to enjoy.”
For full details on the plans see tomorrow’s Argus.