Brighton Centre ready for business

It’s New Year, new start for the Brighton Centre as it emerges from a major refurbishment programme.

The programme began in 2010, when Brighton & Hove City Council approved a £1m investment in the venue. Initial improvements included the replacement of more than 4,000 seats in Auditorium 1, the refurbishment of Auditorium 2, enhanced meeting facilities and the modernisation of existing interiors.

Spokeswoman Gemma Collins said: “This beachfront venue with a capacity of up to 5,000 is one of the largest purpose-built conference and exhibition spaces in the south of England and has played host to a whole range of clients including TUC, British Medical Association, Tesco and Microsoft.

“In addition the venue creates an economic impact to the city in the region of £47m based on conference delegate spend and contributes to the success of a vast range of local business such as Hotels, B&Bs, restaurants, transport and retail outlets and sustains some 14,000 local jobs.

“In July 2011 the final phase of the refurbishment programme got underway to improve the visual appearance of the front of the building and has included: removal of existing main entrance doors; building a new glazed front to edge off building demise; introducing a new doorway entry at the east and west side of the new lobby; the redesign and modelling of the restaurant, offering floor-to-ceiling windows with panoramic unrivalled views of the seafront; and enhanced meeting facilities.”

Gemma added: “All major projects throw up challenges and this project was no different. Within the first weeks the discovery of a large hole under the original pavement at the front of the venue impacted on the structural integrity of the building’s undercroft and meant that the project surveyor and builders faced additional time constraints.

“It is testament to the professionalism and dedication of the venue’s team that events continued to run within the building during this time and the venue remained operational throughout.”

Brighton Centre acting general manager Howard Barden said: “With the completion of these works, we anticipate we will greatly enhance the delegate and visitor experience keeping the venue competitive and relevant on both the national and international conference venues scene.”