Sussex Life - - Readers' Photos -

The Vic­to­rian arches on Brighton’s Madeira Drive have been a source of many a sad glance since they were fenced off for their own pro­tec­tion in 2012.

Now re­tail devel­oper Boxpark has stepped for­ward with a plan to re­turn the arches to their for­mer glory by cre­at­ing a year-round re­tail, food and bev­er­age pa­rade and ho­tel de­vel­op­ment.

At a press con­fer­ence at the Volks Rail­way Vis­i­tor Cen­tre in Septem­ber Roger Wade, Boxpark CEO and Brighton res­i­dent, told Sus­sex Life: “I don’t need to do this; I get in­vited by cities up and down the coun­try to build Box­parks. I want to build this. And I want to build this be­cause I want to cre­ate a bet­ter city.”

Ac­cord­ing to Boxpark the restora­tion of the arches will cost an es­ti­mated £30m. So far the crowd­fund­ing cam­paign to raise money to save the his­toric site has raised just £500,000. There­fore, Wade says, the best so­lu­tion is for a com­mer­cial devel­oper to step in. As part of the plan, 300,000sq ft of the space will be ded­i­cated to re­de­vel­oped pub­lic space, cre­at­ing what Boxpark is call­ing the “peo­ple’s prom­e­nade”.

The com­pany is work­ing with lo­cal ar­chi­tects Chalk Ar­chi­tec­ture on the scheme, which has yet to re­ceive plan­ning per­mis­sion. And Boxpark’s in­ter­ests do not just lie in Brighton; the com­pany is also plan­ning to de­velop a run-down toi­let block in Shore­ham into a com­mu­nity beach hub and is set to build a seafront cof­fee shop in Wor­thing.

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