Brighton & Hove City Council and Brighton & Hove Museums are awarded a £4 million grant

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Brighton & Hove City Council and Brighton & Hove Museums are awarded a £4 million grant by The National Lottery Heritage Fund to restore the Royal Pavilion Garden to its Regency splendour and create a more accessible and welcoming garden for residents and visitors to enjoy.

Brighton & Hove City Council and Brighton & Hove Museums have received a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant of £4,369,755 for an exciting heritage project to restore the historic Royal Pavilion Garden and improve facilities for residents. Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, the project will transform the garden to its original Regency glory while enhancing its accessibility and appeal to visitors and residents of the city.

Supported through The National Lottery Heritage Fund, plans include:

  • Restoration of the Regency planting design using the original planting plans designed for George IV.
  • New visitor and community facilities – including an outdoor learning space, public toilet facilities with a Changing Places toilet, benches and bins.
  • Repairing and conserving historic structures, such as the Grade II listed lampposts which are amongst the first streetlights in the country.
  • Improving a sense of arrival by reinstalling historic fencing.
  • Offering more information about the Garden through the ages onsite and online to help people discover our heritage through new signs and information plus a creative programme of events, tours, and activities. ​
  • More efficient irrigation, drought resistant planting, protecting the roots of our heritage elm trees, and promotion of local biodiversity and wildlife.
  • Increase community engagement to the garden, focused on a range of communities neighbouring the Estate.
  • Developing new community partners to engage people with health issues to visit and enjoy the garden.
  • Restoration of the paths with improved drainage and widening to improve accessibility.

The Royal Pavilion Garden is at the heart of the Royal Pavilion Estate. A Grade II listed garden, designed for George IV, it’s one of the only Regency gardens in the world, considered a garden of national significance and one of the most loved areas of the city.

As well as funding from NLHF, Brighton & Hove City Council is providing capital funding to improve the much-loved garden to restore it to its original Regency glory and ensure it can be enjoyed for generations to come.

Alongside this we hope to increase learning opportunities, improve access and develop ways in which visitors can discover its history. Four priority audiences – people with disabilities, families and adults on low incomes, young people, and people with mental ill health issues – have been identified to help us transform the way we engage with visitors to the garden and to improve wellbeing.

The project is part of a wider plan developed by Brighton & Hove City Council to enhance the Royal Pavilion Estate as a key cultural destination. Phase One of this plan, the refurbishment of the Grade I listed Corn Exchange and Grade II listed Studio Theatre was completed in 2023.  The garden restoration is Phase Two of these plans.

Councillor Alan Robins, chair of the Culture, Heritage, Sports, Tourism and Economic Development Committee and trustee at the Royal Pavilion & Museums said: “The Royal Pavilion estate is of huge international heritage significance, a key contributor to the visitor economy as well as an important green space and haven for nature enjoyed year-round by residents.

“We’re very grateful to National Lottery Players and National Lottery Heritage Fund for this important investment in the heart of the city.

“It’s important that we attract investment and capital funding into significant heritage sites like the Pavilion, to ensure residents have a city they can be proud of.

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“We are thankful to the many community partners who have worked with the council and Brighton & Hove Museums in shaping this project, and pending planning permission, we look forward to seeing work begin later this year.”

CEO of Brighton & Hove Museums Hedley Swain said: “We are thrilled to have received this support thanks to National Lottery players and are confident the project will transform the garden, restore it to its full beauty and remain a haven of beauty and heritage in the middle of the city.”

Stuart McLeod, Director of England – London & South at The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “The Royal Pavilion Garden, Brighton is one of the most iconic urban green spaces in England. We’re thrilled to be supporting this project that will restore it to its former glory, removing it from the Heritage at Risk Register and celebrating its historic importance as a Nash-designed private royal garden. Thanks to this project, this much-loved garden will be able to be enjoyed by locals and tourists alike for many more years to come.”

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