Dear Sussex Community – if you have found yourself at this webpage that was very quickly put together then the story that the Brighton Bears Basketball team was once looking at plans to build a bigger leisure facility that also included a roof top green space and bar found its way in to the newspapers.
About 2 weeks ago The Argus newspaper in Sussex printed a story about Black Rock (BR) – the story was saying how the future of BR once the Enabling Works were finished the area was set to become to huge slab of empty concrete for a few years and might host some summer events until the long term plan was found.
– This story led to people asking questions and wanting to have plans already in place as the site has been empty for 43 years already… they did not want it empty for another 5 years, some people had seen and heard that the Brighton Bears had put out some plans that were centred around building a bespoke community leisure facility that could double as an event arena at weekends to allow the return of the once famous Brighton Bears.
Of course the newspaper then launched an investigation piece on these rumours and plans: the journalist uncovered that our very early concept plans included a building at BR that incorporated the chance to have a 56m X 25m ice pad that was marked out for ice hockey with 1100 seats, a bespoke community leisure facility with 3000 seats (for top flight BBL basketball or champions league netball) these seats were all retractable so the sports halls could be used all week long by community groups and a huge range of grass roots sports, the building including a counselling suite, dance rooms, yoga studio, small gym, and a whole host of other health and fitness related opportunities.
The height of the building was exactly level to the uphill slope that travels up the side of the BR site so it included a small bridge to the roof so that the roof could become either an events space, a rooftop cocktail bar (RockTails) or a green space – the rooftop was encased in clear panels and these panels would have made the entire building the exact height of the A259 seafront road. (meaning all the people living in any of the buildings opposite BR would not have any broken sea view that they currently have).
The outside look of the building could be changed, designed in a number of ways during the planning process, the roof top panels would resemble the great work being done at RockWater in Hove, the panelling around the outside of the building would be softly lit and could be changed depending on the Brighton vibe, for an example lit in a rainbow effects during the Pride Celebrations or lit up to reflect the Brighton festival colours each year.
We spent a huge amount of time on these plans, with lots of options and possibilities, and even a very early concept video was made, that be now be seen for the very very first time just click below
So why were these plans never pursued ?
Firstly we are a basketball company and as such we are taking all our advice from the leading experts in building and running bespoke community leisure facilities that are for BBL basketball and the other sports that be played in those facilities, so our business plans, modelling and projections were all tailored around copying the huge success that these other basketball companies have not just in basketball but the vast sum of community outreach work do.
Secondly we discovered that there was already a group of people who had plans for an ice-rink at the other end of Brighton at the King-Alfred site or at Victoria Park in Portslade – you can find this group on Facebook under the name Sussex Ice Rink. They look like they have some great ice rink plans and they know lots more about about ice rinks than we do so we support there plans and are wishing them well.
so we released plans for our vision of just a bespoke leisure facility that included the community programs for basketball and of course the return of the Brighton Bears
We want to say a thank you to Brighton and Hove City Council who we have met several times and they are keen to see the Brighton Bears return, (over the last year all those meeting have been via Skype) the council have even met our industry expert and we are working 24/7 to bring the Bears back HOME to the city,
Over the last 4 years the city Council have supported all of the community outreach work that we do, this website only shows a very small portion of the community work the Bears are doing everyday… and not forgetting to thank all of our partners, sponsors and funders as they deserve the credit for the impact we are making, we know with a facility like this we can do so much more and help so many people throughout the city and beyond.
Thank you to MP Lloyd Russle-Moyle who has given up his time to talk to me over these plans at the busiest time in living memory for elected officials.
you can follow our campaign on Facebook by clicking here