Ten tonnes of copper and lead was stolen from the roof of Madeira Terrace over the Christmas period. Chair of Tourism for Brighton and Hove City Council, Alan Robins, said that the copper stolen will be replaced with “less sellable materials” in the hope this prevents any robberies in the future.
Alan went on to say that the lack of CCTV and security surrounding the arches was not at fault. He says that “vandals would have worn masks anyway”, and that the council “didn’t believe any security was necessary as we did not believe that somebody would think to commit such a crime.”
Moving forward with the Madeira Terrace restoration plans, leader of ‘The Save Madeira Terrace Raffle Group’ Jax Atkins, attended a meeting with the project manager. She believes that work will not begin until 2021, and says the council are “dragging their heels” with the restoration agreed in June of last year.
Jax’s campaign was set up in 2017, and has raised nearly half a million pounds towards the restoration of all the 151 arches. Many independent business in Brighton contributed prizes towards the raffle that generated the large sum, with well-known names such as Fat Boy Slim taking part.
Owner of Kemptown’s’ ‘The Bristol Bar’ Alan Towler is one of the many business owners who took part in the raffle. He says that when he first took over the business, the terrace was in full swing and extra staff were required on weekends to cope with the excess of customers coming up from the terrace.
Now, he says, he doesn’t bother: “There is just no point, one or two might saunter in but that’s it”. He says that “not only are the council allowing our city’s most unique feature to rot, they are depriving all Kemptown residents of access to their beach. It’s appalling”.
Yesterday, the council announced plans to restore thirty of the arches with new eco-friendly materials. This comes much to campaigners dismay, as a new "adventurous" design, means more money and time being spent. Despite this, we can’t expect to see progress any time soon, with the design team said to have a final plan in 2021.