|Client||Cathedral Group Ltd|
|Sector||Development and Regeneration|
The Circus Street development was designed to regenerate the former municipal market that had been derelict since 2005. The vision was for the area to become Brighton’s new Innovation Quarter, and enhance the city’s social, cultural and economic potential. Positioned strategically in the heart of Brighton, the redevelopment is a partnership between Cathedral Group, Brighton & Hove City Council, University of Brighton and South East Dance. The developer planned to invest £100m to create a mixed-use site that complemented Brighton’s reputation as a creative and ecological city. The place-making development included the creation of 142 residential flats, of which 20% were to be affordable units, 450 student residential bed spaces, and 3,000m2 of flexible office space. There were two new public buildings in the plans – one for the University of Brighton’s library and publicly accessible gallery, and another for a world-class dance studio and theatre for South East Dance. There was also new public realm that encouraged sustainable transport and living with the introduction of a communal orchard, roof-top gardens and a public square. A variety of ‘meanwhile’ activities were also employed before the commencement of construction.
Brighton and Hove are renowned as good places to live. Unemployment claimants are lower than the national average and there are a high percentage of people who have degree qualifications. Crime is somewhat of an issue in the area but not significantly more than national averages. Despite the apparent affluence of the region there was found to be significant room to improve the wellbeing of residents. The prediction for Circus Street showed there was a total social return of 1:5.78, indicating that for each £1 of value invested, £5.78 would be created for the local economy. Of the three phases of construction (meanwhile, construction and occupation) the occupation phase generated the most social value in the predictions. Of the three phases of construction (meanwhile, construction and occupation) the occupation phase was found to generate the most social value. Most of the total value came from employment (34.5%) with wellbeing (31%) and crime (22.1%) factors also contributing strongly to the SuROI.