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Latest Bill: Let’s put Kemp Town on the signs
Madeira Terraces currently look derelict. I think this is symbolic however, of the powers that be’s long term disinterest in Kemp Town generally. Come on Warren and Simon, do something about it!
I love Brighton. I actually love Hove too. I like every little bit of it. In my time I’ve loved living near Preston Circus and seeing so many great films at Brighton’s wonderful cinema, The Duke of York’s. I love going to the beach – okay, I know, it’s pebbles, I still love it. I love living where I am now, in between Kemp Town, Whitehawk and Roedean.
But what don’t I like? I don’t like the fact that when you come into Brighton, whether it be by car, bus or train, all the signs direct tourists and would-be residents to west of the Brighton Pier. Most of the money in Brighton in the last decade has been spent west of the pier. The Cultural Quarter with The Dome and The Royal Pavilion is world class, the Lanes and the North Laine are amazing. The pedestrianisation of New Road by the Theatre Royal is also great and all the clubs that have been developed over the last 20 years in between the piers have made Brighton CelebCity and ClubCity. However, east of the pier has not seen the same investment.
I believe you’re supposed to declare a vested interest, so I’d better tell you that Latest Musicbar is in Kemp Town but I also have a vested interest in promoting Brighton. I’m not biased or setting one part of the city against another, I just want to promote all our great bits. There are so many signs when you come into Brighton – that’s great. But how hard is it to add the words ‘Kemp Town Village’ or just ‘Kemp Town’ as often as you see the words ‘Cultural Quarter’, ‘Royal Pavilion’ or ‘Brighton Centre’?
And of course Kemp Town is principally known for its diversity – the LGBT+ scene and most of the Pride weekend takes place around The Village. Signs for Kemp Town Village would help.
Our city TV station and live music and party venue is situated in Kemp Town. Over 500 band videos have been made there, and artists like The Kooks, Jo Harman, Newton Faulkner and the great Amy Winehouse have all played there. The Catalyst Club and Club Scientifique are in Kemp Town. BIMM, one of the UK’s main music colleges, started in Kemp Town. ACT, the main stage school, is there. So Kemp Town is also quite cultural, maybe not a quarter but what about the Cultural Eighth?
So this is what I am calling for: Signs and pedestrianisation. Kemp Town’s always been on the map. Let’s put it on the signs.