We are pleased to announce that construction has now begun at Circus Street, our mixed-use regeneration scheme in Brighton. This comes after securing funding from Gravis Capital Partners, who will be helping us to deliver a new retail and leisure destination for the city.
Henry Construction, the project contractor, has now started on site bringing forward this £130 million development, the majority of which will be delivered in 2019.
The scheme will revitalise a once-loved pillar of the community, inject £200m into the local economy and create 400 jobs. Brighton has been a vibrant hot-spot in the South-East for many years, but as more people migrate to the city for work and leisure, this continues to put a strain on the supply of family homes. With the funding provided by Gravitas Capital Partners, it enables us to deliver 142 new homes, of which 28 will be affordable; 450 student bedrooms; 30,000 sq. ft. of new office space, as well as ample space for start-ups to nurture their business.
The former home of an old fruit and vegetable market, the site had remained semi-derelict and neglected for eight years. In order to bring the site back to life ahead of the development actually starting, in 2013 we opened the doors of the site to welcome in entrepreneurs and start-ups looking for a temporary home to develop their ideas. With this new blend of creatives sprang community-focused projects offering a variety of events, festivals and installations, ranging from art festivals and theatre performances through to food waste initiatives and community cycling events. Through the plentiful activities and events being hosted at the site, the former market has become a place where residents not only want to visit and spend their leisure time, but also feel a sense of ownership of.
This 'meanwhile activity' is typical of our approach to regeneration, helping us to understand the fine grain of a place that would be completely missed if we put up hoardings and waited until we secured planning. It also plays an important role in our approach to public consultation, enabling us to have more meaningful conversations with a broad range of stakeholders who actively engage with the places we create. This was discussed at our most recent U+I Think event where we hosted a panel discussion with leading meanwhile use operators, exploring ways to make this activity more worthwhile over the long-term.
As we look ahead to the future, we are excited to deliver an active and engaging environment in which the local community feels compelled to participate and empowered to live better.
More information on Circus Street can be found here: http://circusstreetbrighton.com/.