CRUMBLING arches on Brighton seafront have been added to a national list of 'at risk' heritage sites.

Historic England has published its annual Heritage at Risk Register today, which reveals the historic sites "most at risk of being lost forever as a result of neglect, decay or inappropriate development".

Madeira Terrace has been added to the list and is described by Historic England as in "a very poor and deteriorating condition".

The 805 metre stretch of cast-iron Victorian arches has been closed to the public since 2012 as it was deemed unsafe, and its structural stability is a "serious concern".

Brighton and Hove City Council has welcomed the news that the site has been added to the register and Historic England is working with the council and providing advice for its regeneration.

SEE ALSO: Madeira Terrace: Councillors to push ahead with project

Last year, Historic England reviewed the listing of Madeira Terrace and upgraded its status from Grade II to Grade II*, which meant Madeira Terrace could be considered for inclusion on the Heritage at Risk Register for the first time.

Historic England wrote a letter to the council, which states: “Inclusion of a building is not a criticism of those responsible for the building. Rather, it is an indication that those who are caring for an important part of the country’s heritage are facing significant challenges, which may require more resources than they can find locally.

“The aim of the Register is to keep attention focused on these buildings, to act as a working tool to help define the scale of the problem, and to prioritise action by Historic England, local authorities, funding bodies and others who can play a part in making these irreplaceable buildings safe and sustainable for future generations.”

Both the Royal Pavilion Gardens and Stanmer Park attracted funding following their inclusion on the At Risk register. 

Works on the first stage of restoration on Madeira Terrace, the MT30 project, is due to begin next October. This phase will see 30 of the 151 arches restored.

But restoration of the whole terrace will "require funds from grant-aiding bodies so that it can be saved for future generations", Historic England said.

Councillor Clare Rainey, lead member for the Madeira Terrace Project Board, said: “We are pleased Historic England has recognised the unique and special character of Madeira Terrace and surrounding buildings, and the urgent need for its restoration.

“We remain committed to restoring Madeira Terrace and the message from Historic England is that we must act as swiftly as possible to protect this precious asset.  This is why cross party support was given to appointing a design team in 2019. This team is now making preparations for the first phase of restoration. 

“The At Risk status will help us to explore relevant funding opportunities to restore the whole of Madeira Terrace for future generations.”

Considered to be the longest cast iron structure in Britain, Madeira Terrace was constructed in the late 1800s as a covered promenade to attract visitors from London when the new railway opened.