The Madeira Terraces in Kemp Town were built in 1890 as a tourist attraction by Brighton Borough Council. Sadly, 130 years later they have become unsafe and have been closed off. During an annual inspection big cracks were noticed in the Terraces. A survey was later carried out, which revealed that the cracks were due to the structure being built without expansion joints, and also that the girders that make up the walkway were all corroded. The estimated cost of restoration was £24m.
A group of Kemp Town residents formed a group on Facebook to start fundraising for the Madeira Terraces restoration. Suggestions were made including: sponsoring a plaque and holding a garden fête in Marine Square. Eventually the sponsoring turned into a crowd-funding scheme and the fete turned into a community raffle. The raffle tickets were sold through 45 outlets, including businesses in Seven Dials: Fullertons and Seven Cellars Wine Merchants, which also gave a prize, as did Mermaid Island. The Flour Pot Bakery sold specially made Madeira cakes for our benefit, so thank you everyone in Seven Dials who bought tickets and gave us a prize. The raffle, possibly Brighton’s biggest, raised £16,700 which, together with the crowd-funding, raised nearly half a million pounds. That means that this year work can start on restoring the first 3 arches. There are 151 altogether, which means that more money needs to be raised.
As it was so popular and successful the group decided to have a second one, a Midsummer Raffle, to be drawn on 30 June. This time we aim to get 700 prizes and raise £20k for the restoration fund. I am pleased to say Seven Dials is supporting us again, with Ayten Gasson, Seven Cellars and Fullertons selling our raffle tickets and Homage donating a super raffle prize. Other businesses have also pledged prizes and any businesses, artists, crafters or residents who would like to offer a raffle prize, please get in touch via Facebook or pop into one of the shops which are selling our raffle tickets. To see the list of over 400 prizes collected so far, to donate and buy tickets, please join Save Madeira Terraces Raffle Group on Facebook.