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Historic Brighton seafront project ready for lift off
A historic lift on Brighton seafront is to reopen after a £200,000 facelift.
Scaffolding has surrounded the Madeira Lift, which links Brighton’s upper and lower promenade, for a year.
After restoring the Grade II listed attraction and installing new lights, the covers have now been finally lifted off ahead of its reopening at Easter.
It comes just three years after Brighton and Hove City Council spent £250,000 refurbishing its mechanics after people became stuck in it.
Geoffrey Bowden, the chairman of the council’s economic development and culture committee, said: “I am absolutely thrilled that this unique Victorian lift has been restored to its former glory and that we have been able to add energy efficient LED lighting which will make the lift an attractive feature at night.
“We are committed to preserving our heritage and it’s wonderful to know that this Grade II listed lift will continue to transport visitors to the seafront well into the future.”
Originally opening in 1890, the lift links Marine Parade with Madeira Drive. In its heyday it carried thousands of visitors to the beach.
It operates throughout the summer, descending into a shelter that is now the Concorde 2 music venue.
Major work costing £250,000 to the lift mechanisms and shaft began in 2007 and took two years to complete.
The roof work, carried out by RB Construction, is the final phase of the restoration project.
It began in March and was carried out by a team of specialists, including a retired restorer who is now in his 80s.
Two of the original griffins, which sit on the corners of the roof, have been repaired and the remaining two cast to match them.
The large orb and weathervane have also been repaired.
They were lifted into place by five men who carefully adjusted the dolphins and compass to point in the correct directions.
Eco-friendly lighting has also been installed, similar to the work at the Royal Pavilion in Brighton.