Brighton's The Level was due to close today for a major £2.2million revamp which is scheduled to take nine months.

Crowds of people flocked to a community event on Saturday gave people a chance to come and take a look at the plans for the site and to talk to those behind the project.

There were also a variety of sports and games to try out while historians collected people’s memories about the area.

Carla Grassy, 25, lives opposite the park and is a regular visitor with her two daughters Bonnie, two, and Heidi, eight months.

She said: “Bonnie loves to go to the playground so we are here pretty much most days. The changes do sound good although having the park shut for so long is going to be a bit of a problem.

“Hopefully once it reopens we will see a lot of people using it and it will be properly maintained to make it nice for everyone.”

The work was due to start today, but has been slightly delayed after fencing failed to show up on time.

However, Brighton and Hove City Council promised that the north side of the park would be fenced off tomorrow and the south side on Wednesday.

A spokeswoman said: “We are running a little bit late. It is just down to the fencing being delayed.”

Paths around The Level will remain accessible while the work is carried out, and the Rose Walk which crosses the centre will be open during most of it.

Among the improvements will be adding a new playground, fountains, a sensory garden, tables for board games and table tennis. A new café and public toilets will also be added.

The skate park will be moved from its current location to the north part of the park, which is currently flat open space.

It will be carried out by Surrey-based The Gavin Jones Group, which has done projects for the Royal Opera House, London Eye and the 2012 Olympic organisers.

The plans have been beset by controversy, with many people opposed to the moving of the skate park to the north end of the park at the expense of green space. 

However the neighbouring patch which is currently gravel will be turfed over, and in a consultation of thousands of people living nearby favouring the skaters being moved. 

Planning permission for the relocation was granted in August.

This article was updated at 3.15pm to include details of the slight delay in work starting.