A multi-million pound conference and exhibition venue offering first class facilities for national and international events at Eastbourne’s Devonshire Quarter is complete.
The impressive new Welcome Building has been created to reinforce the town’s reputation as a premier conference destination, and forms a key part of Eastbourne Borough Council’s £54million development alongside its top flight sporting and cultural offer.
Councillor David Tutt, Leader of the Council, said: “It’s fantastic to see our vision realised for this stunning new building which is set to put Eastbourne on the map for its excellent conferencing opportunities.
“Devonshire Quarter is a truly transformational project and hugely exciting for the town and our long-term prosperity.”
Now that contractor Vinci has handed the completed building over to the council, its first role will be to provide support space for the upcoming Nature Valley International Tennis Tournament, ahead of events and conferences being hosted there.
The Welcome Building has conference halls, break out and hospitality areas, the site’s central box office and a public café opening in July that boasts views across the lawns.
The building was designed to maximise natural lighting and the roof is fitted with photovoltaic solar panels to help the council meet its commitment to drive down CO2 emissions.
A ramped entrance provides an attractive gateway to the Welcome Building through the new plaza and once inside, there is access to the Congress Theatre and Winter Garden which stand on either side.
In its initial stages of construction, 737 piles were drilled with a total depth of over 15 km and some 5,000 tonnes of concrete and 290 tonnes of steel reinforcement were used.
Following the piling, 50,000 tonnes of spoil – an amount as heavy as 225 jumbo jets – were removed from site, of which nearly all was reused as capping for old landfill sites.
Devonshire Quarter is almost complete, with work starting later this year on the Grade II listed Winter Garden marking the final stage of the project.
Funding for Devonshire Quarter has included £5million from the Government’s Local Growth Fund through the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP).