AN AWARD-WINNING Brighton attraction is set to close its doors for good, as lockdown and legal negotiations mean it "can't survive".

Around 20 people will lose their jobs at Phileas Fogg's World of Adventures, in Crowhurst Road, as the venue revealed it will be closing on June 6.

The immersive theatre and escape room attraction opened in 2019, but a combination of the impact of lockdown restrictions and ongoing legal negotiations has forced it to shut.

Speaking exclusively to The Argus, owner Graham Owen said the venue was never able to reach its full potential, as it spent 15 months closed during the coronavirus lockdowns.

He said: "Without passing the blame on to anyone, it just wasn't viable to carry on as a business.

"It has been very sad. There are lots of people to consider in this, we have a lot of staff who have been waiting 15 months and have come back to find out we just can't survive.

"For us, we were unique and there was nothing like it anywhere in the world.

The Argus: The venue will close for good next weekThe venue will close for good next week

"We are currently Brighton's top tourist attraction in Sussex so it is quite a big thing.

"The saddest thing is that we opened at the beginning of 2019 and spent a year building it. We finishing building it on March 10, then went into lockdown on March 21.

"Then, we had 15 months of Covid. We never got to the point where we finished and were allowed to operate and run."

Previously been named Tourist Attraction of the Year at both the Sussex Business Awards and the Brighton and Hove Business Awards, the site had been operating at 20 per cent capacity until it was forced to shut again in November.

But unlike other entertainment venues, the escape room failed to receive funding from the Culture Recovery Fund.

The grants programme was set up to help cultural organisations across the country recover from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, with funding packages between £50,000 and £3 million on offer for successful applicants.

Mr Owen added: "We never once had the opportunity to operate. We opened at Christmas and sold every last ticket and that was running at 20 per cent capacity.

"We will open for the next nine days as one last hurrah."