First step in £35million scheme for Corn Exchange and Studio Theatre

An artist’s impression of the new cafe bar and access ramp

An artist’s impression of the new cafe bar and access ramp

First published in News
Last updated
by , Business editor

The first detailed plans that supporters hope will lead to the £35 million transformation of Brighton’s Royal Pavilion Estate have been unveiled.

A planning application submitted to Brighton and Hove City Council focuses on a major refurbishment of the Corn Exchange and Studio Theatre.

In the first step towards the multimillion-pound masterplan, the initial proposals include improvements to the Studio Theatre, including a new creation space and ground-floor bar-cafe opening on to New Road.

The Corn Exchange will have better facilities, while seating will be increased from 320 to 500.

A new viewing gallery, audience circulation spaces, additional offices, back-of-house accommodation, storage, toilets, catering and a service tunnel linking all venues will also be built, if the scheme is given permission to go ahead.

The new Studio Theatre cafe will open on to New Road, with outdoor seating stretching around the corner into Pavilion Gardens.

The outside terrace will replace unsightly bin stores on the corner of New Road and the access road ramp.

The cafe bar floor will be brought up to street level with lowered window sills to attract customers and enliven the area.

A new copper canopy will wrap around the building, covering the exterior seating to blur the cafe bar and street edge further.

The Max Miller statue will remain where it is.

Alterations to the Corn Exchange will include retractable seating beneath a new balcony and replacement roof coverings.

A balcony overlooking the new Corn Exchange Gallery will be shared by the Studio Theatre and the new Creation Space, which can be viewed from the Corn Exchange.

Internal work will include the demolition of a single-storey link building and erection of a three-storey infill extension to the west of the Corn Exchange, which will incorporate new foyers, a bar, box office, toilets, production space, public stairs and lifts.

Warren-like link corridors accumulated ad hoc in the last century will be demolished.

The work will have no visual impact from the outside, according to a heritage report.

The master plan for the redevelopment of the Royal Pavilion Estate was dealt a blow earlier this year after a bid for £14 million of Heritage Lottery Funding was turned down.

The £35 million plan has benefited from £5.8 million from the Arts Council and may now take a phased approach with new, separate lottery bids.

Comments (16)

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9:16am Wed 27 Aug 14

Hove Actually says...

Just like the greens to spend money we do not have on ariy fairy lotto grants that may or may not be granted, and if not how will the phased approach be completed?

Please all you Con/Lab/Indis Councillors do not let these amateurs commit us to anymore debt before May 2015 that they WILL NOT be around to pay back
Just like the greens to spend money we do not have on ariy fairy lotto grants that may or may not be granted, and if not how will the phased approach be completed? Please all you Con/Lab/Indis Councillors do not let these amateurs commit us to anymore debt before May 2015 that they WILL NOT be around to pay back Hove Actually
  • Score: 24

9:47am Wed 27 Aug 14

ok,jared says...

They wouldn't be paying it back anyway.

Once spent, council funds are gone.
They wouldn't be paying it back anyway. Once spent, council funds are gone. ok,jared
  • Score: -15

10:20am Wed 27 Aug 14

Strange Town says...

This is not a new scheme it was a part of the original re-fit in the early 90's but was value engineered out. If funding can be obtained it will improve the venue and create a great new cultural space. If the town can then attract funding to re-open the Hippodrome as theatre the towns cultural offer will match that of other similar sized cities
This is not a new scheme it was a part of the original re-fit in the early 90's but was value engineered out. If funding can be obtained it will improve the venue and create a great new cultural space. If the town can then attract funding to re-open the Hippodrome as theatre the towns cultural offer will match that of other similar sized cities Strange Town
  • Score: 15

11:13am Wed 27 Aug 14

vandleberry@gmail.com says...

What is this Copper Canopy that is going to wrap around the building ? I rather thought that the Pavilion etc is Grade 1 listed........with good reason it would seem.
What is this Copper Canopy that is going to wrap around the building ? I rather thought that the Pavilion etc is Grade 1 listed........with good reason it would seem. vandleberry@gmail.com
  • Score: 10

11:17am Wed 27 Aug 14

Ted-Kelly1 says...

Oh Joy, another coffee shop! However, I do agree with 'Strange Town' about the much needed medium-sized 'Cultural Spaces' in the town. We must just hope that it will be affordable for local groups and bands to put on shows!
Oh Joy, another coffee shop! However, I do agree with 'Strange Town' about the much needed medium-sized 'Cultural Spaces' in the town. We must just hope that it will be affordable for local groups and bands to put on shows! Ted-Kelly1
  • Score: 7

11:22am Wed 27 Aug 14

Dave in Hastings says...

Usual negative comments from the usual negative suspects. I cannot understand why anybody would be against this development.

And as for the usual green bashing - get a life. I'm glad that another party were elected and have shaken up the usual cosy Lab-Tory cartel.
Usual negative comments from the usual negative suspects. I cannot understand why anybody would be against this development. And as for the usual green bashing - get a life. I'm glad that another party were elected and have shaken up the usual cosy Lab-Tory cartel. Dave in Hastings
  • Score: 1

11:38am Wed 27 Aug 14

Joshiman says...

What about the eyesore that is the Conference centre/cinema on West St/Kings Rd. What about a state of the art leisure centre at the KA.(Anyone asked the lottery commitee?
What about the eyesore that is the Conference centre/cinema on West St/Kings Rd. What about a state of the art leisure centre at the KA.(Anyone asked the lottery commitee? Joshiman
  • Score: 21

12:31pm Wed 27 Aug 14

Nosfaratu says...

vandleberry@gmail.co
m
wrote:
What is this Copper Canopy that is going to wrap around the building ? I rather thought that the Pavilion etc is Grade 1 listed........with good reason it would seem.
Something our Eastern Bloc comrades will nick as soon as its dark.
[quote][p][bold]vandleberry@gmail.co m[/bold] wrote: What is this Copper Canopy that is going to wrap around the building ? I rather thought that the Pavilion etc is Grade 1 listed........with good reason it would seem.[/p][/quote]Something our Eastern Bloc comrades will nick as soon as its dark. Nosfaratu
  • Score: 0

12:33pm Wed 27 Aug 14

Nosfaratu says...

Ted-Kelly1 wrote:
Oh Joy, another coffee shop! However, I do agree with 'Strange Town' about the much needed medium-sized 'Cultural Spaces' in the town. We must just hope that it will be affordable for local groups and bands to put on shows!
What's wrong with 'Dukes Mound' ?
[quote][p][bold]Ted-Kelly1[/bold] wrote: Oh Joy, another coffee shop! However, I do agree with 'Strange Town' about the much needed medium-sized 'Cultural Spaces' in the town. We must just hope that it will be affordable for local groups and bands to put on shows![/p][/quote]What's wrong with 'Dukes Mound' ? Nosfaratu
  • Score: -3

12:50pm Wed 27 Aug 14

Nosfaratu says...

Hove Actually wrote:
Just like the greens to spend money we do not have on ariy fairy lotto grants that may or may not be granted, and if not how will the phased approach be completed?

Please all you Con/Lab/Indis Councillors do not let these amateurs commit us to anymore debt before May 2015 that they WILL NOT be around to pay back
Don't forget that UKip will be contesting a lot of seats in B&H.

They certainly 'will' make changes and for the residents not the itinerant students or 'Hippy contingent'.
[quote][p][bold]Hove Actually[/bold] wrote: Just like the greens to spend money we do not have on ariy fairy lotto grants that may or may not be granted, and if not how will the phased approach be completed? Please all you Con/Lab/Indis Councillors do not let these amateurs commit us to anymore debt before May 2015 that they WILL NOT be around to pay back[/p][/quote]Don't forget that UKip will be contesting a lot of seats in B&H. They certainly 'will' make changes and for the residents not the itinerant students or 'Hippy contingent'. Nosfaratu
  • Score: -17

3:39pm Wed 27 Aug 14

Valerie Paynter says...

The Edinburgh Festival attracts all the big names in this country's media and luvvy world. It gets HUGE levels of coverage and respect every year. The Brighton Festival? A local event. Why is this?

What does this city have to do to make the Brighton Festival nationally important? Is it about facilities? What? Does this plan go any way towards improving the future prospects for the Festival? If so, great!

The corner addressed in the photo above does improve the 'back door alley' appearance from New Road and convert it to a 'lively frontage' which is good. Unhappily for the Pavilion Garden Cafe it also throws down the gauntlet with an 'up yours' promise of competition to come. They will have to consider their position and how they can up their own game.

New Road lacks anywhere nice to go for tea and a cake apart from the clone-town type coffee place corner of Church St and the Garden cafe (which is not open in bad weather. Or for any truly reliable set of hours). The New Road wall of benches is shabby, sad and often filled with young drunks. The public seating rolled-top 'perches' are unwelcoming. This 'shared space' can often message as just a blank nothing to walk through on the way to somewhere else. This plan will be helpful to the Theatre Royal, Studio Theatre and appearance of New Road. Help resolve the visual and opportunity problems along the east side as one walks up from North Street - providing a coherent 'destination' for the eye. It should be successful. And if successful, bring increased income to the council owners of the site.

Not happy to see an obvious removal of trees and greenery in the CGI above. Will object to that.
The Edinburgh Festival attracts all the big names in this country's media and luvvy world. It gets HUGE levels of coverage and respect every year. The Brighton Festival? A local event. Why is this? What does this city have to do to make the Brighton Festival nationally important? Is it about facilities? What? Does this plan go any way towards improving the future prospects for the Festival? If so, great! The corner addressed in the photo above does improve the 'back door alley' appearance from New Road and convert it to a 'lively frontage' which is good. Unhappily for the Pavilion Garden Cafe it also throws down the gauntlet with an 'up yours' promise of competition to come. They will have to consider their position and how they can up their own game. New Road lacks anywhere nice to go for tea and a cake apart from the clone-town type coffee place corner of Church St and the Garden cafe (which is not open in bad weather. Or for any truly reliable set of hours). The New Road wall of benches is shabby, sad and often filled with young drunks. The public seating rolled-top 'perches' are unwelcoming. This 'shared space' can often message as just a blank nothing to walk through on the way to somewhere else. This plan will be helpful to the Theatre Royal, Studio Theatre and appearance of New Road. Help resolve the visual and opportunity problems along the east side as one walks up from North Street - providing a coherent 'destination' for the eye. It should be successful. And if successful, bring increased income to the council owners of the site. Not happy to see an obvious removal of trees and greenery in the CGI above. Will object to that. Valerie Paynter
  • Score: 3

4:52pm Wed 27 Aug 14

ok,jared says...

Valerie Paynter wrote:
The Edinburgh Festival attracts all the big names in this country's media and luvvy world. It gets HUGE levels of coverage and respect every year. The Brighton Festival? A local event. Why is this?

What does this city have to do to make the Brighton Festival nationally important? Is it about facilities? What? Does this plan go any way towards improving the future prospects for the Festival? If so, great!

The corner addressed in the photo above does improve the 'back door alley' appearance from New Road and convert it to a 'lively frontage' which is good. Unhappily for the Pavilion Garden Cafe it also throws down the gauntlet with an 'up yours' promise of competition to come. They will have to consider their position and how they can up their own game.

New Road lacks anywhere nice to go for tea and a cake apart from the clone-town type coffee place corner of Church St and the Garden cafe (which is not open in bad weather. Or for any truly reliable set of hours). The New Road wall of benches is shabby, sad and often filled with young drunks. The public seating rolled-top 'perches' are unwelcoming. This 'shared space' can often message as just a blank nothing to walk through on the way to somewhere else. This plan will be helpful to the Theatre Royal, Studio Theatre and appearance of New Road. Help resolve the visual and opportunity problems along the east side as one walks up from North Street - providing a coherent 'destination' for the eye. It should be successful. And if successful, bring increased income to the council owners of the site.

Not happy to see an obvious removal of trees and greenery in the CGI above. Will object to that.
"The Edinburgh Festival attracts all the big names in this country's media and luvvy world. It gets HUGE levels of coverage and respect every year. The Brighton Festival? A local event. Why is this? What does this city have to do to make the Brighton Festival nationally important? Is it about facilities? What? "

It might have something to do with the negative image people around the world have of Brighton.

Edinburgh has huge drug and drink related problems, but these aren't broadcast, and don't detract from the global image of 'gentility'.

Brighton, on the other hand, is seen as a cess-pit, and with good reason. It largely grew on its sleaze factor.

"New Road lacks anywhere nice to go for tea and a cake apart from the clone-town type coffee place corner of Church St and the Garden cafe (which is not open in bad weather. Or for any truly reliable set of hours). "

So it DOES have a tea shop.

And why should it have one, anyway?

"The New Road wall of benches is shabby, sad and often filled with young drunks. The public seating rolled-top 'perches' are unwelcoming. This 'shared space' can often message as just a blank nothing to walk through on the way to somewhere else. "

There are public seats and busy businesses - how can it possibly be 'just a walk-through'?
[quote][p][bold]Valerie Paynter[/bold] wrote: The Edinburgh Festival attracts all the big names in this country's media and luvvy world. It gets HUGE levels of coverage and respect every year. The Brighton Festival? A local event. Why is this? What does this city have to do to make the Brighton Festival nationally important? Is it about facilities? What? Does this plan go any way towards improving the future prospects for the Festival? If so, great! The corner addressed in the photo above does improve the 'back door alley' appearance from New Road and convert it to a 'lively frontage' which is good. Unhappily for the Pavilion Garden Cafe it also throws down the gauntlet with an 'up yours' promise of competition to come. They will have to consider their position and how they can up their own game. New Road lacks anywhere nice to go for tea and a cake apart from the clone-town type coffee place corner of Church St and the Garden cafe (which is not open in bad weather. Or for any truly reliable set of hours). The New Road wall of benches is shabby, sad and often filled with young drunks. The public seating rolled-top 'perches' are unwelcoming. This 'shared space' can often message as just a blank nothing to walk through on the way to somewhere else. This plan will be helpful to the Theatre Royal, Studio Theatre and appearance of New Road. Help resolve the visual and opportunity problems along the east side as one walks up from North Street - providing a coherent 'destination' for the eye. It should be successful. And if successful, bring increased income to the council owners of the site. Not happy to see an obvious removal of trees and greenery in the CGI above. Will object to that.[/p][/quote]"The Edinburgh Festival attracts all the big names in this country's media and luvvy world. It gets HUGE levels of coverage and respect every year. The Brighton Festival? A local event. Why is this? What does this city have to do to make the Brighton Festival nationally important? Is it about facilities? What? " It might have something to do with the negative image people around the world have of Brighton. Edinburgh has huge drug and drink related problems, but these aren't broadcast, and don't detract from the global image of 'gentility'. Brighton, on the other hand, is seen as a cess-pit, and with good reason. It largely grew on its sleaze factor. "New Road lacks anywhere nice to go for tea and a cake apart from the clone-town type coffee place corner of Church St and the Garden cafe (which is not open in bad weather. Or for any truly reliable set of hours). " So it DOES have a tea shop. And why should it have one, anyway? "The New Road wall of benches is shabby, sad and often filled with young drunks. The public seating rolled-top 'perches' are unwelcoming. This 'shared space' can often message as just a blank nothing to walk through on the way to somewhere else. " There are public seats and busy businesses - how can it possibly be 'just a walk-through'? ok,jared
  • Score: -2

6:59pm Wed 27 Aug 14

hoveguyactually says...

The idea of opening up the area, losing the barrier between New Road and the Pavilion Gardens is a sensible one. Hopefully the wall and the ghastly seating will be removed (and with it the drunks), but the Pavilions Cafe should remain, even if it is re-sited, as it is part of Brighton's heritage, and is loved by many people. One thing I would really like to see is traffic (including cyclists) being forbidden to use New Road. It should be for pedestrians only, and please, please, please, no hot dog or hamburger stands. And get rid of those horrible pigeons!
Pity about the lettering on the statue - "Max Miller".
The idea of opening up the area, losing the barrier between New Road and the Pavilion Gardens is a sensible one. Hopefully the wall and the ghastly seating will be removed (and with it the drunks), but the Pavilions Cafe should remain, even if it is re-sited, as it is part of Brighton's heritage, and is loved by many people. One thing I would really like to see is traffic (including cyclists) being forbidden to use New Road. It should be for pedestrians only, and please, please, please, no hot dog or hamburger stands. And get rid of those horrible pigeons! Pity about the lettering on the statue - "Max Miller". hoveguyactually
  • Score: 2

7:19pm Wed 27 Aug 14

Clunky says...

Hove Actually wrote:
Just like the greens to spend money we do not have on ariy fairy lotto grants that may or may not be granted, and if not how will the phased approach be completed?

Please all you Con/Lab/Indis Councillors do not let these amateurs commit us to anymore debt before May 2015 that they WILL NOT be around to pay back
Words fail me.
[quote][p][bold]Hove Actually[/bold] wrote: Just like the greens to spend money we do not have on ariy fairy lotto grants that may or may not be granted, and if not how will the phased approach be completed? Please all you Con/Lab/Indis Councillors do not let these amateurs commit us to anymore debt before May 2015 that they WILL NOT be around to pay back[/p][/quote]Words fail me. Clunky
  • Score: 4

7:44am Thu 28 Aug 14

Maxwell's Ghost says...

Edinburgh is the home of wealthy folk while its poorer neighbour Glasgow is the hippy, student, poor people's city so Edinburgh venues can fill seats easily and stars can do sell out shows for more than a week. Brighton has a handful of wealthy folk living here and then it has students and the poor so a smaller group to be able to afford tickets to a festival. Edinburgh also pulls people in from the wealthy towns and villages around it as the nearest big city, while few people from wealthy Mid Sussex towns and villages would travel to Brighton for the festival when they can travel less than 45 minutes to London to see stars and shows at some of the world's top venues for the same price.
While Brighton benefits from being near London it also suffers from being so close. I recently paid £10 return rail fare to London to go to an event at the Albert Hall, which was cheaper than a cab home from an event at the Dome and the tickets for the event were a similar price. It's a shame but at least we have the sea and London doesn't.
Edinburgh is the home of wealthy folk while its poorer neighbour Glasgow is the hippy, student, poor people's city so Edinburgh venues can fill seats easily and stars can do sell out shows for more than a week. Brighton has a handful of wealthy folk living here and then it has students and the poor so a smaller group to be able to afford tickets to a festival. Edinburgh also pulls people in from the wealthy towns and villages around it as the nearest big city, while few people from wealthy Mid Sussex towns and villages would travel to Brighton for the festival when they can travel less than 45 minutes to London to see stars and shows at some of the world's top venues for the same price. While Brighton benefits from being near London it also suffers from being so close. I recently paid £10 return rail fare to London to go to an event at the Albert Hall, which was cheaper than a cab home from an event at the Dome and the tickets for the event were a similar price. It's a shame but at least we have the sea and London doesn't. Maxwell's Ghost
  • Score: 4

9:02am Thu 28 Aug 14

HJarrs says...

Maxwell's Ghost wrote:
Edinburgh is the home of wealthy folk while its poorer neighbour Glasgow is the hippy, student, poor people's city so Edinburgh venues can fill seats easily and stars can do sell out shows for more than a week. Brighton has a handful of wealthy folk living here and then it has students and the poor so a smaller group to be able to afford tickets to a festival. Edinburgh also pulls people in from the wealthy towns and villages around it as the nearest big city, while few people from wealthy Mid Sussex towns and villages would travel to Brighton for the festival when they can travel less than 45 minutes to London to see stars and shows at some of the world's top venues for the same price.
While Brighton benefits from being near London it also suffers from being so close. I recently paid £10 return rail fare to London to go to an event at the Albert Hall, which was cheaper than a cab home from an event at the Dome and the tickets for the event were a similar price. It's a shame but at least we have the sea and London doesn't.
As usual, you talk the city down.

Given the growing popularity of the Brighton Festival and growing visitor numbers, you are talking twaddle.
[quote][p][bold]Maxwell's Ghost[/bold] wrote: Edinburgh is the home of wealthy folk while its poorer neighbour Glasgow is the hippy, student, poor people's city so Edinburgh venues can fill seats easily and stars can do sell out shows for more than a week. Brighton has a handful of wealthy folk living here and then it has students and the poor so a smaller group to be able to afford tickets to a festival. Edinburgh also pulls people in from the wealthy towns and villages around it as the nearest big city, while few people from wealthy Mid Sussex towns and villages would travel to Brighton for the festival when they can travel less than 45 minutes to London to see stars and shows at some of the world's top venues for the same price. While Brighton benefits from being near London it also suffers from being so close. I recently paid £10 return rail fare to London to go to an event at the Albert Hall, which was cheaper than a cab home from an event at the Dome and the tickets for the event were a similar price. It's a shame but at least we have the sea and London doesn't.[/p][/quote]As usual, you talk the city down. Given the growing popularity of the Brighton Festival and growing visitor numbers, you are talking twaddle. HJarrs
  • Score: -1

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