£10.8m for Brighton plans

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Lottery grants for Dome venues expansion.

Brighton's £19m scheme to expand its historic Brighton Dome and its venues has received a major boost with grants of £5.8m from the Arts Council Lottery Fund and £5m from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The scheme will see refurbishment of the Grade I listed Corn Exchange and a renovation of the Grade II Studio Theatre and compliment the major improvements to the Dome concert hall in 2002.

"It will enable Brighton Dome's three venues to improve their sustainability, working conditions and facilities, whilst also encouraging new audiences, supporting artist development and enabling the organisation to realise its vision to be one of Europe's leading arts festivals and a year-round destination for artists and audiences" The Arts Council spokeswoman said

Andrew Comben, CEO of the Dome and the Brighton Festival, said the programme would create new office space for running both operations, new storage space and proper backstage facilities for artists. Work will start after the 2016 festival.

"In the last six or seven years we have been finding ways of operating with serious constraints and have had to be adaptable in programming and really careful with formats of work - it's hard at the moment to move from one to another quickly" he said. "It takes a lot of juggling, and for the future we need to be more flexible and streamlined to develop, and to provide facilities international companies expect".

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