The first phase of the restoration of the historic Madeira Terrace could be scaled back in an effort to cut costs.

The number of arches set to be restored could be cut from 40 to 28 due to rising inflation, the council has revealed.

Repairs to the Royal Crescent steps have also been ruled out as part of the first phase of renovation in order to keep costs down.

Brighton and Hove City Council has put the project out to tender, with bidders asked to provide quotes for restoring 40 arches and 28 arches. Should companies provide quotes that are too expensive to restore 40, the council will go with the reduced option.

It said if it was not prepared to be flexible it "would not be able to renovate any of the arches".

The project was due to start this autumn but was delayed by the Labour administration to consider "which approach offers the best value for money".

The main dismantling work is now not expected to start next spring.

The news has provoked outrage among campaigners who have long fought for the arches, which have been left in a state of disrepair for many years, to be restored.

One said: “The council wasted all that money on the i360. The terraces are much more important and part of Brighton’s history. This makes me so angry.”

Another expressed their sadness at the news and said: “I get this strange feeling of depression, despair and disappointment.”

READ MORE: Restoration of historic Madeira Terrace delayed again over 'escalating costs'

Phase one of the project would still include renovating the deck above the arches with additional seating, planting to conserve the green wall, new stairs adjacent to Concorde 2 and the new lift to ensure access for all.

A council spokesman said: “Significant increases in construction and material costs have affected all areas of construction in the past year.

“In preparation for issuing our invitation to tender to contractors for this important project, we have reviewed project finances to ensure that a high-quality renovation will be delivered within the budget, which was set before the pandemic and prior to widespread cost inflation.

“As a result of the current cost pressures we have discussed with the Madeira Terrace Restoration Advisory Panel the need to have an option to reduce the number of arches included in phase one of the contract if the costs from bidding contractors come in too high.

“Potentially there might be an option to reduce from 40 to 28 arches.

“The alternative would be that if costs come in too high and we do not have that flexibility, then we would not be able to renovate any of the arches.”