Place Visioning

Madeira Terrace

Radical vision with social value at its core
Grade II* cast iron structure
151 arches spanning 850m
£12m capital funding secured so far


Project Background

For almost a decade, Brighton’s Madeira Terrace – an iconic 865m Grade II* listed cast-iron structure – has been fenced-off, progressively falling into greater disrepair. Despite numerous grant bids and restoration attempts, no deliverable plan has materialised. In 2017, a crowdfunding campaign was launched by the council, raising over £440k. Despite this huge community support, the funds were only sufficient to restore 3 of the 151 arches. With a further £2m committed by the council in 2019, a cross-party working group set about procuring a team to develop proposals for restoring of 30 the arches and providing a blueprint for the remaining 121.

Our Approach

In May 2020, we were commissioned by the council alongside a full-service design team to develop the strategic brief and business case. Our advice changed the course of the project by successfully challenging the underlying commercial assumptions and defining a new development strategy and business model for its restoration. This strategy was predicated on a vision for Madeira Terrace that aligns faithfully with its original purpose as a public promenade, linear grandstand and spectacle, and a business case anchored by its contribution to social value, major events, seafront regeneration and Brighton’s brand and reputation.

Our work was underpinned by extensive community and stakeholder consultation and a detailed analysis of the strategic and market context. The depth and breadth of this research provided the necessary evidence base to support our recommendations to radically shifted the direction of the project and underpin a new vision for the terrace.

Results and Outcomes

Our approach and business case galvanised universal backing from all corners of the community and gained cross-party support from within the council and secured a further £10m of funding. The project itself will deliver a major new cultural destination along the eastern seafront, forge essential new pedestrian access east to west and north to south along 1km of coastline, and encourage further investment and regeneration in this area of Brighton, where levels of economic and social deprivation are most pronounced.

Project focus