COMMERCIAL backing is vital if the dream of revitalising Brighton’s seafront arches is to come true.

That’s the view of the developer behind a multi-million-pound proposal to save Madeira Terrace.

Brighton resident Roger Wade, founder of retail and leisure development company Boxpark, is leading the project which is named “People’s Promenade”.

It is estimated to cost at least £100 million. He proposes to build a hotel, office spaces, restaurants and shops to attract more visitors to Madeira Drive and transform it into a “world-class beachfront leisure destination”.

The regeneration project would restore the existing Victorian arch structures while retaining their architectural heritage and increasing commercial appeal for both locals and visitors.

Mr Wade said it has been his lifelong dream to restore the arches to their former glory.

Read more: Developer's bold £100m plan for Brighton's Madeira Terrace

He said: “As a Brighton and Hove resident I’m passionate about the regeneration of our outstanding seafront.

“Madeira Drive and the terraces are the embodiment of the Victorian grandeur that saw Brighton become the UK’s favourite seaside destination.

“The new images show how our proposal would redevelop the area while maintaining the architecture that Madeira Terrace has become known for.

“It will cost millions to restore all 151 arches. Restoration is just one aspect, but we need to think of ways to make it self-sustaining to maintain itself in the long term.

“Without private investment in the project, this will not happen.

“We are here to work with community stakeholders such as Save Madeira Terrace, Historic England and Brighton and Hove City Council.

“We have been drawing up these plans for four years and have approached the council to discuss our ideas.

“What we want to say is now is the time to take action and move forward. The arches have been in this ruined condition since 2012, and do we want to wait another five years? Or ten years?”

The Argus:

Mr Wade said the proposal also seeks to create a new public park on the upper Marine Parade and build more connections between the parade and the Palace Pier.

He said: “We hope to create a promenade and more access to the beach for residents in Kemp Town. This area is very quiet and it doesn’t draw visitors to come to this side of the seafront.

“The beach should be packed with fantastic restaurants, a new hotel and shops.

“The Victorians were innovative. For example the electric railway was built by Magnus Volk.

“I think we forgot about that period of time where we were always thinking forward. We need to embrace a bigger, bolder and brighter vision for the city.

“All in all, we are proposing a project, with a realistic goal, that makes Madeira Terrace self sustaining while maintaining its original structure and look.”

REVEALED: Plan for shops, restaurants and hotel on Madeira Terrace

Paul Nicholson from Chalk Architecture, who is working alongside Mr Wade, said: “Further to developing a concept to save the Madeira Arches in 2015, we have had an ongoing constructive engagement with the local community about our ideas.

“In response to significant public interest, the scheme has evolved over time into a dynamic proposal of new and enhanced public space wrapping around retail, leisure and commercial office use.

The Argus:

“Working with the Boxpark team has transformed the scheme into an exceptionally exciting prospect.

“I am a Brighton and Hove resident myself, this project is very close to my heart.

“The council has worked hard to try and restore the terraces.

“But it also welcomes private investment getting involved in the restoration. The council does not have the capacity to do all of it by itself.

“The idea of the terraces is a place for congregation. It’s for people to meet up and to watch major events like the speed trials.

“However, this space here is too quiet, we are unlocking access to the marina.

“We want to maximise the volume of people coming to this side of the seafront. So we propose to build shops, restaurants, a hotel and office spaces. This is also for a market during the colder seasons.

“Local business owners are in need of more office spaces. The hotel will encourage people to stay here.

“This is just the start, there’s still a lot of work to explore such as the conservation elements of the project.”

Mr Wade said the whole project was estimated to take up 500,000 square feet.

Of this, 300,000 square feet would be dedicated to public spaces.

Should the plan be approved, the developments will come in three phases.

Read more: It's time to back major plans to revive Madeira Terrace

The first would be building shops, second would be the hotel, with about 160 suites, and third, new offices.

The entrepreneur proposes to create a new public park on the upper Marine Parade. The width of this area varies from 12 metres to 17 metres. This means the arches would move forward on to Madeira Drive by a minimum of five metres.

The Argus:

Mr Wade said: “This is potentially one of the biggest investments in the city and I want the very best for Brighton.

“We are working with one of the largest architectural practices in the world, BDP. They have experience working on public works buildings and heritage schemes including the Royal Opera House, Royal Albert Hall, National Maritime Museum.

“They are currently working on the House of Parliament project. The retention of the Madeira Terrace green wall and biodiversity on the terrace is a key part of the proposal.

“The sections of green wall would be re-cultivated to the new stairwells between the blocks and the large stretch of blank concrete embankment to the westerly length of the arches.

“In addition, a series of new wild gardens, much like the pathway through the New England Quarter, will be created and integrated into Marine Parade. the New York High Line is the exemplar scheme for the design of the public areas across the concept and we hope to collaborate with its designer and horticulturalist Piet Oudolf for these areas.”

The developers have presented their initial proposal to the city council in the hope of being chosen as commercial partner for the redevelopment.