Brighton and Hove City Council has provided an update on ongoing works to restore the Royal Pavilion Estate after the project received a £1 million funding boost.

The National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) has awarded the regeneration project the seven-figure sum from its Heritage Capital Kickstart Fund.

This will be added to the £4.823 million grant allocated by the NLHF for the project in 2016, and the £458,920 granted to the scheme from Arts Council England’s (ACE) Cultural Capital Kickstart Fund last December.

These funds will be used to continue "phase one" of the Royal Pavilion Estate regenration project, which involves refurbishing Brighton Dome’s Grade I-listed Corn Exchange and Grade II-listed Studio Theatre buildings.

The Argus: Brighton's Royal Pavilion and the Palace Pier epitomise resort style

Over the last year, contractors have largely focused on major architectural restoration work including essential repairs to the Corn Exchange roof.

More than 16,000 slate tiles, weighing 55 tonnes, have been replaced to protect the building from weather damage. 

Many of the original interior heritage features at the site have been restored using specialist carpentry skills, 6,500 linear meters of oak cladding have been installed along the length of the Corn Exchange walls and roof arches, and 34 oak pilaster columns have been recreated from archive drawings to match how the building would have looked more than two centuries ago.

Brighton Dome and Brighton Festival chief executive Andrew Comben said: "Brighton Dome has been part of the city’s history for over 200 years and we want to protect its legacy for future generations to enjoy and for artists to continue to perform here. 

"The refurbishment of these heritage buildings has been incredibly complex and this welcome support from the NLHF has come at a crucial point, as we begin 2021 with a renewed determination to bring the arts to our audiences and communities."

The long-term vision for Brighton and Hove City Council, Brighton Dome and Brighton Festivalm and the Royal Pavilion and Museums Trust is to reunite all elements of the Royal Pavilion Estate and create "a centre for heritage, culture and the performing arts which reflects the unique spirit of Brighton and Hove".

The estate includes the Royal Pavilion, Brighton Museum and Art Gallery, Brighton Dome Corn Exchange and Studio Theatre and the Regency garden.

It is anticipated that the revitalised Royal Pavilion Estate will support 1,241 (full-time equivalent) jobs and have an economic impact of £68 million.

Council leader Phelim Mac Cafferty heralded the progress made on the project over the last year as a "symbol of hope for Brighton and Hove’s cultural recovery after an especially difficult year for the arts".

The Argus: The interior of the Corn Exchange during regeneration worksThe interior of the Corn Exchange during regeneration works

He said: "We look forward to when the city’s venues can welcome back artists and audiences safely, with improved access for everyone to enjoy cultural experiences.

"We are extremely grateful to the NLHF for their continued support for the Royal Pavilion Estate. 

"Covid-19 has increased the financial pressures on the work programme as well as across council services and the cultural sector. 

"The funding recognises the importance of the project to the cultural and economic life of the city and will set us on the right track to complete the work."