Agenda item - Chairs Communications

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Agenda item

Chairs Communications


19.1    The Chair provided the following updates:


            Council Golf Courses


19.2    This Committee had previously approved the marketing of the council's golf courses on leases of at least 25 years. The courses have been advertised for golf, leisure, education or conservation uses including rewilding.


19.3    The marketing exercise had attracted 15 proposals for either one course or both courses. There are an encouraging wide variety of proposals in terms of use, but there was inconsistency to the extent in which the proposals had been developed. Therefore, further time was needed to identify if any of the proposals would provide long term sustainable uses for the golf courses. The existing management contract for the golf courses expired at the end of March 2020, which unfortunately gave uncertainty for staff and current users. Therefore, as a matter of urgency options were currently being assessed to give greater certainty to all stakeholders. Members would be updated as soon as possible, and, if necessary a special meeting would be convened.


            Shelter Hall Development on the Seafront


19.4    Those businesses to operate from the new Shelter Hall development on the seafront had been selected. The historic Shelter Hall, which had been entirely rebuilt was due to be completed early next year, and would be home to the city’s first food hall, with up to ten independent Brighton & Hove food businesses offering a wide range of cuisine.  he new food hall will be run by Sessions Market, a new ethically driven company bringing together experienced business operators from the restaurant and design worlds.


19.5    The Rotunda, located above the Shelter Hall at street level, would be the new beach location for Riddle & Finns, the champagne and oyster bar which had been a prominent name in the city for nearly 14 years. Its food philosophy combined traditional English seafood dishes with international influences. The building boasted spectacular panoramic views and would be a great asset to the city’s visitors and seafood lovers.

            Blue Plaque – Sake Dean Mahomed


19.6    On 5 November the Chair had attended the unveiling of the Blue Plaque for Sake Dean Mahomed the Shampooing) surgeon to George IV at the Queens Hotel which was where his Indian Medicated vapour bath had been located. Shampooing involved medicated vapour bath using Indian herbs.


19.7    Brighton Museum & Art Gallery had put up a display dedicated to Sake Dean Mahomed. The star object was Mahomed’s court dress – the sumptuous outfit he wore whilst attending to George IV. The display also featured miniature portraits of Mahomed and his wife, Jane, as well as other portraits and personal items, some of which had been acquired recently acquired from his descendants. A short film accompanied the display and highlighted Sake Dean Mahomed’s achievements.


Royal Pavilion and Museum sites – Awarded Assured Visitor Attraction Status


19.8    The RPM sites had all been awarded Quality Assured Visitor Attraction status, following audit visits by assessors from Visit England’s Visitor Attraction Quality Scheme (VAQS). VAQS was a national visitor attraction standard, and the sites were assessed biennially against a set of criteria that focused on the whole visitor experience. The award was recognised by a number of agencies. In particular, having the VAQS award contributed to each sites’ Museums and Galleries Accreditation submission by demonstrating that our sites met key service standards the User Services section of the Accreditation Standard.


            Tourism – Day Trips and Staying rips


19.9    In 2018, Brighton, had seen an increase in tourism day trips with 9.5 million trips made, this was up by 1% from 2017, whilst the direct business turnover resulting from these trips had increased by 4% to £335m. This bucked the England and South East trend, with Brighton and Hove out-performing the country and region as a whole. Overall, an estimated 1.51m staying trips were spent in Brighton & Hove in 2018, of which around 1,138,000 were made by domestic visitors (up by 7% on 2017) and 374,000 by overseas visitors (decrease of 3% on 2017). Compared to 2017, total overnight trip volume increased by 4%, whilst the value remained static at £515m. Across the South East as a whole, the number of staying trips to the region by international visitors had fallen significantly by 23%, so Brighton significantly out-performed the region. The decline in overseas trips was attributed by the Office of National Statics (ONS) to a reduction in the number of visitors originating from EU countries – potentially a result of ongoing Brexit negotiations which will also impacted on statistics for future years. Overnight trips had resulted in an estimated 4.95m visitor nights spent in Brighton & Hove in 2018, an increase of 1% compared to 2017. The total number of visitors was 11.01m (up by 1.5% on 2017) whilst total expenditure by visitors to Brighton & Hove was estimated to have been in the region of £850 million in 2018, an increase of 1.5% on 2017. Tourism Supported: 15,730 FTE jobs and 21,448 Actual jobs which equates to around 15.7% of all employee jobs in Brighton & Hove.


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