Brighton Dome Corn Exchange’s £22m refurbishment hits standstill as contractor goes bust
A major £22 million refurbishment of the Brighton Dome Corn Exchange and Studio Theatre has come to a standstill after the building contractors working on the project ceased trading.
Brighton and Hove City Council has taken back and secured the site and is putting together proposals for an insolvency agreement with collapsed contractors R Durtnell and Sons Ltd.
A statement claimed the local authority is committed to completing the refurbishment.
The project will see heritage features restored in the grade I-listed Brighton Dome Corn Exchange, as well as an increase to its seating capacity and additional viewing gallery and rehearsal space.
Improvements will also be made to the grade II-listed Studio Theatre, including balcony seating, a new bar and a street-level cafe.
Since building work began in February 2017, the project has experienced several issues including the accidental uncovering of a Quaker burial site in August 2017.
Chief executive at Brighton Dome and Brighton Festival, Andrew Comben, said: “This is extremely disappointing news but we are confident that by working together with Brighton and Hove City Council we will find a solution to complete the refurbishment as quickly and efficiently as possible.
“We are grateful to the council, our funders, stakeholders and the public for their continued support and belief in the importance of this project.”
A statement from Brighton and Hove City Council said: “R Durtnell and Sons Ltd, the contractor working on the major refurbishment of Brighton Dome Corn Exchange and Studio Theatre, has ceased work on site and is putting together proposals for a company voluntary arrangement.
“The council has taken back the site and made it secure. We are committed to completing the refurbishment of these unique buildings to protect their long-term future in the cultural heart of the city.
“Over the coming days we’ll be exploring practical options for continuing and completing these essential restoration works as soon as possible.”
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