THE Brighton Centre is set to reopen more than eight months after it was forced to shut as the nation was plunged into lockdown.

Bosses are planning to welcome audiences back to the venue in December.

The first confirmed act to be taking to the stage at the newly reopened site will be pianist and singer Jools Holland, who will be hosting two performances on December 12.

He is to be the first of a full programme of events which will take place throughout the month, with further acts yet to be announced.

But, as customers come back through its doors, they are being warned that the Brighton Centre will look very different to how music-lovers may remember it.

The maximum capacity has been reduced from 5,500 to 504 people, who will be sat at a series of socially distanced tables inside the auditorium.

Rather than buying individual tickets, gig-goers will instead need to purchase a table, which can seat up to four people from the same household or bubble.

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Rebecca Esteves, revenue and commerce manager at The Brighton Centre, said: "We are absolutely thrilled to be re-opening the Centre with a programme of socially distanced events.

"It has been a tough year for the venue and the entertainment industry, and I would like to thank everyone for their support and patience during these difficult times.

"We are transforming the auditorium for this new style of concert to create a truly unique and safe entertainment offering in the city.

"Jools Holland has been performing at the Centre for more than 20 years so to have him and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra back supporting us, and to be the only venue he will perform at in 2020, is a huge honour.

"We look forward to welcoming back all our loyal customers in the coming months."

Tickets for the Jools Holland show will be on sale from 10am tomorrow, available at

The musician said: "I am so thrilled that we have managed to find a way to play these two shows in 2020.

"The arts and performance makes us all feel alive and are an important part of what makes us all human.

"We do this for all our loyal fans out there as well as for the musicians and crew who have been hit hard this year.

The Argus:

"We love performing, so to do it twice in one day will be a joy and a solution.

"Look forward to seeing you in Brighton.”

He will be joined on stage by Chris Difford, with whom he co-founded British pop band Squeeze.

Chris, described by Jools as the "John Lennon of Lewisham", has a rich musical history, writing with the likes of Elton John, Paul Carrack, Lisa Stansfield, Bryan Ferry, Helen Shapiro and Elvis Costello.

The Rhythm and Blues Orchestra, vocalist Ruby Turner and singer Louise Marshall will also perform alongside the Later with Jools Holland host.

The two shows will take place at 3pm and 8pm.