Members of the economic growth board, Team East Sussex, took the opportunity to see first-hand how the £54million project to create a top cultural, sporting and conference destination is taking shape.
Clive Soper, Team East Sussex/South East Local Enterprise Partnership Strategic Board business member and Federation of Small Businesses regional policy chairman, said: “We were impressed to see the various elements of this ambitious scheme coming together and look forward to its completion. Devonshire Quarter represents a major boost to the local and regional economy, as well as job creation.”
The group went inside the Grade II* listed Congress Theatre, which is undergoing a major two-year refurbishment. Scaffolding is currently being taken down in the main auditorium now that work to paint areas of the ceiling and redecorate the original teak timber are finished. The Congress renovation project is on track for the scheduled completion date of March 24, 2019, when the London Philharmonic Orchestra will perform at the theatre.
The Team East Sussex (TES) members were also shown progress on the new Welcome Building, which will provide conference halls, break out and hospitality areas and the site’s central box office. Raised timber floors have been installed there ready to be tiled, and concrete cladding is complete on the exterior.
The TES group saw that work is well underway to create a plaza which will become an attractive gateway to the theatres, conference facilities and Towner Art Gallery. New kerbs are being laid at the new piazza, which will have a disabled drop-off near the entrances to the buildings. Following the site tour, the TES meeting was held in the newly-built players’ changing facilities.
TES is the local federated board for the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP).