Brighton Racecourse: plans for new roof as rot spreads Brighton News

A VICTORIAN theater where the Beatles have previously performed has submitted plans for a new roof – as dry rot continues to spread.

Work to restore Brighton Racecourse to its former glory began after it was taken over by family-owned Matsim Properties last year.

However, as repair work on the Grade II listed building continues, the decorative plaster ceilings have collapsed and dry rot is spreading throughout the place.

According to Matsim Properties, it is impossible to prevent further water ingress due to the design and deterioration of the roof structure.

The metal frame of the roof has rusted and any salvage work on the roof will cause “excessive vibration and will definitely lower more if not all of the decorative ceiling,” the company said.

Argus Racecourse: Brighton is under repair.  Credit: David Streeter Photography.comBrighton Racecourse is under repair. Credit: David Streeter

To overcome this, Matsim submitted plans to provide a new roof structure above the auditorium, which would allow crews to repair the ceiling before removing faulty roof coverings.

A spokesperson for Matism told Argus: “This work must be done during the summer months as the plaster decoration is unlikely to survive another winter of water penetration.

“The supporting comments will hopefully encourage Brighton and Hove Council to process the request as soon as possible.

“It is essential that the custom-made steel beams be installed this summer.

“Then, just as Frank Matcham oversaw the plaster installation in just two months in the summer of 1901, Matsim can install new roof covering.”

The building was built as an ice rink in 1897 before being converted into a circus theater four years later designed by famous architect Frank Matcham.

This year it was on a list of 31 theaters at significant or immediate risk of loss, as the Covid-19 pandemic had a “devastating” impact on the British theater industry.

The Theaters Trust, which compiled the list, saw an “emerging trend” during the coronavirus crisis where vacant theater buildings were put up for sale by private owners.

But as the work continues, people have the option to attend Covid planned secure tours to the site.

From May 19 to 21, people can see their first thoughts and ideas on the future of the racetrack.

Groups of no more than five will be allowed at any time and sessions will last approximately 15 minutes.

Interested parties should visit for a location to view the initial concepts and view the auditorium.

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This notice was published: 2021-04-30 03:00:00