A DJ has welcomed the reopening of a popular nightclub after a major refurbishment following the "bleakest period" in its history.

The Arch in Kings Road on Brighton seafront will open with two more rooms and a new bespoke soundsystem on June 26.

Norman Cook, also known as Fatboy Slim, described the historic venue as being "part of Brighton's musical heritage" and said he hopes to play there this summer.

He said: "The music community in Brighton is close to my heart.

"The Arch is also part of that and they’ve put Brighton's nightlife scene at the centre of the UK underground movement for several years now.

The Argus: Fatboy SlimFatboy Slim

"It's been a struggle for them during the pandemic and it's great to see them refurbishing the space.

"The club is part of Brighton's musical heritage - I can remember the heady days when it was Zap Club - and the team at The Arch are preserving that for future generations.

"I really hope to play there again this summer."

The club had been gearing up to celebrate five years as the Arch in March last year, when the pandemic hit and it was forced to close.

The venue had its bid for a culture recovery fund grant rejected during the crisis, but despite setbacks, staff are determined to come back with a bang.

Damien Fell, head of music, said: "Rather than resting on our laurels, we decided to give this historic Brighton venue a new lease of life and committed to a big refurbishment, even though we did not receive the Arts Council funding.

"The last year has been extremely challenging.

The Argus: The Arch nightclub has undergone refurbishment during lockdown, with upgraded sound and lightingThe Arch nightclub has undergone refurbishment during lockdown, with upgraded sound and lighting

"To keep the business alive we built a takeaway bar from the venue's fire exit and dug in to get the job done.

"The Arch is looking the best it ever has and I can only sit here in awe of the work that has been done by the team as we get set to reopen."

As part of the refurbishment, the Victorian arches in Kings Road have been refreshed with stripped back concrete floors, exposed steel mezzanines and industrial decor throughout the club.

Sound and light production has been upgraded, including new LED screens, a 4D laser show, immersive lighting and two brand new rooms - the Box and the Hangar - while a sound system with twelve bass speakers has been refurbished and re-calibrated for excellent sound quality in the main room.

The Argus: The Arch nightclub has two new rooms The Arch nightclub has two new rooms

The club first opened in 1984 with the goal of being "for artists, run by artists who understand performers and their needs."

Previously The Zap Club, Digital and Coliseum, the building has played host to the likes of the Chemical Brothers, Sonic Youth, Moby, Paul Weller and DJs Harvey, Sven Vath and Laurent Garnier.

The Arch is getting ready for a busy season of events this summer, with Jamie Jones set to headline its grand opening on June 26.

The club is also launching its Life in the Park Festival at Brighton Rugby Club with a month of eight special shows, including sets from Orbital and David Rodigan.

For more information on event listings, visit www.thearch.club.