Ribbons were hung on a birch ‘wishing tree’ on top of the highest building at the Circus Street Brighton development as part of a ‘topping out’ ceremony held by U+I, Brighton & Hove City Council and Kaplan to mark this important construction milestone [18th April].
The £130 million project which will see a derelict, former fruit and vegetable market in central Brighton transformed into a thriving new quarter and cultural destination for the city.
Cllr Warren Morgan and Judith Hibberd from South East Dance put the first spade in the ground marking the start of construction for The Dance Space, a new home for the arts organisation providing state of the art dance studios and creation spaces for choreographers, artists and the people of Brighton and Hove when it opens its doors in January 2020.
Richard Upton, Deputy Chief Executive of U+I, said: “This is a major milestone for our Circus Street regeneration project and for Brighton at large. Together with our partners we are bringing Circus Street back to life, creating a vibrant new destination which will bring substantial cultural and socio-economic benefits to the wonderful city of Brighton & Hove, injecting £200 million into the local economy over the next decade.”
Brighton & Hove City Council leader Warren Morgan said: “It is fantastic to see such great progress on this project. As a council we have been successful in working with partners across the city to bring in private investment. This has enabled us to grow jobs and improve public facilities on long underused sites and Circus Street is a wonderful example of what can be achieved.”
Linda Cowan, MD of Kaplan International Pathways, said: “The impressive living space in this new development will give our University of Brighton International College a huge advantage in attracting the top students from around the world to study at the college in preparation for entry to the University of Brighton.
Jamie Watton, CEO of South East Dance, said: “This is a landmark moment for us. It signals the next chapter in our vision to make The Dance Space a unique space for artists, as well as a resource for local people from all walks of life to cultivate a passion for dance. We are so grateful to all those who have supported South East Dance to see this project through”.
Central to the Circus Street design is a new public square, with restaurants and shops which will be home to a range of independent businesses, creating a vibrant new leisure space for the city. South East Dance’s new home The Dance Space will open onto the square and the facility will provide much needed space for creative projects and performances, adding to Brighton’s lively cultural and artistic community. South East Dance has undertaken considerable fund raising to contribute towards the delivery of The Dance Space, which has also received significant financial assistance from Arts Council England.
Construction of the mixed-use regeneration scheme, Circus Street in Brighton, began in Autumn last year when funding for the delivery of the project was secured with GCP Student Living plc, the UK’s first REIT focused on student residential accommodation, and Gravis. Coast to Capital LEP has also contributed £2.17 million to the project, helping to bring forward this important regional regeneration project.
Jonathan Sharrock, Chief Executive at Coast to Capital said: “Investing into the infrastructure of the region is a top priority for us and this project turns unused space into a cultural hub which will benefit businesses, residents and visitors to Brighton. We are thrilled with the development so far and look forward to seeing Circus Street come to fruition.”
The development, designed by leading architects shedkm with TP Bennett, will create over 400 jobs and includes 142 new homes; 450 student bedrooms; 30,000 sq ft of new office space plus workshops offering creative businesses start up accommodation and room to grow.
British firm Henry Construction is the construction contractor responsible for delivering the scheme, with their emphasis on offering local jobs and apprenticeships for young people on the site, Henry Construction is already making a tangible contribution to the city.