REPRESENTATIVES of UNESCO World Heritage sites around the country have recommended the city presses on with applying for the prestigious status for the crumbling seafront.

Officials in Blaenavon, Wales and from Cromford Mills in Derbyshire have both backed Brighton and Hove's proposed bid.

If successful, the status could lead to millions of pounds of European funding as well as added promotion and prestige.

Gareth Davies, the mayor of Blaenavon, said World Heritage status had brought £40 million of investment into the mining town since it was awarded in 2000.

He said: “World Heritage status has given Blaenavon a new confidence, one that has at last helped us to overcome a legacy of industrial decline.

“It has brought recognition to the town in Wales and beyond.

“It has not provided all the answers but it has also enabled the town to plan a future while celebrating a rich industrial and social history.”

The town celebrates World Heritage Day once a year with a special festival.

Mr Davies said it was “well worth” Brighton and Hove applying.

Also backing the bid is Simon Gill, the general manager of the Arkwright Society, which, in the 1970s formed to save Cromford Mills in the Derwent Valley area of Derbyshire.

Mr Gill said: “The mill was going to be pulled down and turned into a car park but they bought it and renovated it.”

After being saved and restored, the Derwent Valley Mills got World Heritage status in 2001.

He added: “Achieving that status has changed it dramatically. It definitely puts you on the map and signposts you as a destination.

“People do say, ‘You wouldn’t believe what it was like before,’ and now the numbers have skyrocketed. They look back now and say, ‘I can’t believe that was going to be pulled down.’

“It brings people to the area because they know the status and value of it all.”

Earlier this week we revealed Brighton and Hove Heritage Commission is drawing up the bid for the promenade, stretching from Arundel Terrace to Hove Lawns.

However, not everyone is in support, with Brighton and Hove City Council ruling out their backing, deeming it too expensive. A spokeswoman said it could also scupper plans they have in the pipeline.

A spokesman for UNESCO said there is no set figure for preparing a nomination bid as the cost depends on the complexity and size of the site. Past applications are thought to have ranged from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of pounds.