Teams are working to rescue as much of the Royal Albion Hotel as possible, the council leader has said.

Councillor Bella Sankey, leader of Brighton and Hove City Council, has said she has been “genuinely so saddened” by the pictures of the fire that gutted a large section of the building, as well as images of its demolition.

She said: “As the demolition goes on, you’re seeing the extent of the devastation and it doesn’t get easier.”

She praised the work of her colleagues in their response to the situation and in taking over the “complex and difficult situation”.

Cllr Sankey said: “That has involved a huge effort across lots of different departments in the council and working with lots of different partners, including the Environment Agency, Southern Water, the fire services, and the hotel.

“We’ve risen to that challenge well and we’ve now got the really difficult job of working to ensure we can maintain the patience and understanding of the public as the operation continues, as this isn’t going to be sorted overnight. 

“This is still a dangerous building that we need to make safe.”


As part of the work, the council is talking with insurers and with Britannia Hotels, the owners of the Royal Albion Hotel, to discuss preserving as much as possible of the historic hotel.

Cllr Sankey said: “That’s why we’ve done 3D imaging and we are making moulds of original features, as we do want to rescue as much as we possibly can.

“In the coming weeks and months, we will be able to turn our attention to what comes next, but we obviously need to speak to the hotel management about that and develop that conversation.”

Discussions are also ongoing with the hotel’s management about more immediate concerns, including ensuring residents and guests can get their belongings back.

Cllr Sankey repeated the council’s commitment to the city’s historic buildings and said: “In everything we’re doing and pursuing, we’ve been really clear how important the city’s heritage is. It is what makes people fall in love with the city. 

“I think there is an opportunity with the Royal Albion and that’s what we’ll be saying to the hotel managers.”