CAMPAIGNERS are heralding a “major breakthrough” in the battle to save Madeira Terraces.

More than £24 million is needed to save the struggling seafront architecture on Madeira Drive, which has been closed to the public since 2012.

Jax Atkins, from the Save Madeira Terraces campaign, believes she has found a solution – £1.25 million a year in parking revenue.

A petition previously called on Brighton and Hove City Council to lobby the Government for a one-off special status to use the revenue to fund restoration of the arches.

However, Mrs Atkins has found current legislation may already allow for this and is calling for the road to be reopened immediately to kick-start fundraising.

She said: “We have uncovered that it is indeed possible under current legislation, despite some people previously insisting otherwise.

“I hope the council will take this seriously so we can begin to move forward with regenerating the arches, the window to Brighton, and stop wasting money.”

Revenue generated through parking is limited by the Traffic Management Act 2004 as to how it can be spent.

The £1,274,000 generated on the road, in which the arches sit, is spent on the 21 bus route and over-65s bus passes.

However, under the law, the provision of public transport is one of five possible criteria where it can be spent.

It may also be used for “the purposes of environmental improvement”.

This includes improving or maintaining the appearance or amenity of land in the vicinity of a road, or the provision of outdoor recreational facilities available to the general public without charge.

Mrs Atkins believes this is a “major breakthrough” which could kick start a huge fundraising effort for the Madeira Terrace.

She said: “The terraces have always been an outdoor area to walk, run, or sit in shelter.

“People would often take children down there to learn how to ride a bike in a safe way. With this money, other potential sources of funding – such as the lottery – will see that we really are serious about saving our shared history. “

A council spokesman said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on the council’s finances. Currently Madeira Drive is not receiving any parking income as it is closed to vehicles needing to park.”

“By law, any surplus generated by parking fees and charges must be spent on provision of public transport services or to road, air quality or environmental improvements.

“Brighton & Hove City Council uses its surplus to provide concessionary bus passes for older and disabled people, subsidising bus routes, road safety and transport improvement projects.

“The council is currently considering options to actively manage spending but must balance this with needing to maintain essential services, supporting people and businesses through the pandemic, and not undermining the city’s recovery.”