How We Did It
U+I’s ground-breaking partnership with Brighton & Hove
City Council and the University of Brighton has injected
new life into an overlooked part of the city, introduced
beauty where there was blight, brought jobs and
investment where there was deprivation, and expanded
the limits of what was previously thought possible.
Many developers didn’t know how to approach it – but
U+I has squared the circle at Circus Street.
They said it couldn’t be done.
This is how we did it.
At U+I, every place has a soul and a story. It’s the
foundation to unlocking where we go next.
In close collaboration with Jo Gibbons, founder of
landscape architecture studio J&L Gibbons and leading
permaculture expert, and innovative architecture studio
shedkm, we drew inspiration from a beautiful terrier map
of the city from 1792, that revealed a palimpsest of eras
from Regencey to Post War, and made it a blueprint for the
Worthwhile Use is core to U+I’s approach to regeneration,
turning empty spaces and places into opportunities for
communities, creatives and small businesses.
As soon as we got the keys to the market on Circus Street,
we sought out potential opportunities to engage with a broad
spectrum of local groups. From bike workshops to dance
performances, as well as an eye-popping Anish Kapoor
installation, we delivered social and economic value through
engagement that will pay off long into the future; meaning it is not
just worthwhile, it is also long-lasting.
Circus Street is a textbook U+I mixed-use
regeneration project: a sustainable, productive,
healthy model of city life.
Designed to address a multitude of needs including jobs,
homes, green space, tourism, retail and culture.
30,000 SQ FT OF
WITH A GLASS-
AN ECLECTIC RANGE
14,000 SQ FT
The jewel in the crown at Circus Street is the Dance Space,
the first new publicly-funded arts building in Sussex in
over a decade.
Part creative research space, part community dance space,
delivered at zero cost to the public purse
by U+I as part of its visionary scheme, the building
will draw 70,000 people a year to the site while
enriching Brighton’s cultural fabric.
Circus Street has been designed to promote healthy
vibrant sustainable places, weaving responsible living
and wellness into the lives of residents and other users.
The scheme includes highly energy efficient buildings
powered by photovoltaics, with green energy to all new
homes, green roofs to support local flora and fauna, safe
pedestrian and cycle routes and over 600 secure cycle
Now home to a number of unique and dynamic businesses,
the Office at Circus Street is set to become a world-class hub
for creative, digital and tech, allowing companies to attract and
retain employees directly from Brighton’s rich talent pool.
As Brighton city centre’s highest-quality workspace, the Office
features stunning specifications, including a wrap-around terrace and
glazed penthouse office, a city-leading sustainability rating (BREEAM
“Excellent”), WiredScore Platinum-rated digital connectivity, and
benefits from a street level that will play host to a variety of
independent businesses – from restaurants and cafés to studios and
workshops. All creating an employment ecosystem that will have a
halo effect on the east side of Grand Parade and Valley Gardens.
No development is an island.
New communities need to seamlessly integrate
with existing ones, both benefitting from the amenities,
facilities and services we know they desperately
need to collaborate and thrive.
At Circus Street, a complex mix of uses means
cleverly combining student accommodation, homes, shops,
businesses and services, often within the
same building, making for close-knit communities
that benefit from shared public realm.
While public sector budgets groan under unprecedented strain,
the demand for housing, public services and the infrastructure
to service a 21st century economy keep rising.
U+I is uniquely placed to square this circle. At Circus Street, through
an innovative three-way partnership with Brighton & Hove City
Council and the University of Brighton, we unlocked underutilised land
to deliver jobs, economic growth, homes
and huge social impact that will have a halo effect that
radiates across the city long into the future.
NEW JOBS ACROSS
GROSS VALUE ADDED TO
THE LOCAL ECONOMY
IN THE NEXT 10 YEARS
LARGE GREEN PUBLIC
RETAIL, LEISURE AND
NEW OFFICE SPACE