Clarence Mitchell, the Conservative Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Brighton Pavilion, won the backing of the Sport and Tourism Minister, Helen Grant, when he joined her on a visit to The Royal Pavilion and Brighton Museum & Art Gallery.
Mrs Grant, who was in the city to promote Brighton’s vital role as a major UK tourism destination beyond London, was given a personally guided tour of the city’s most beautiful iconic building, seeing the opulence of the former Prince Regent, later George IV’s, residence first hand and learning about its rich history and later association with Queen Victoria.
As the Minister also with responsibility for the UK’s World War One Centenary Commemorations, she was especially interested in learning about the Royal Pavilion’s use as a Field Hospital for many wounded Indian servicemen during the Great War.
She and Clarence then viewed the especially moving Voices From The First World War exhibition which is running at Brighton Museum & Art Gallery until March 1st. Using many poignant family letters and personal artefacts, it highlights 13 personal stories from those directly affected by the1914-18 conflict, all of them with Brighton or Sussex connections.
Mrs Grant then went on to attend a tourism roundtable at the Sealife Centre and championed VisitEngland’s Access For All scheme, in which Brighton is a key partner destination, ensuring the city's major attractions have proper accessibility for the less able bodied visitor.
The Minister also dropped into Clarence's Old Steine Campaign HQ where she met Co-Campaign Manager Karen Miles and interns Alex Mitchell and Chris Hayward.
Clarence said: “I warmly welcome Helen to Brighton and in particular to The Royal Pavilion, the very heart of our fantastic, thriving tourism economy. So much of the rich culture of this city has disappeared over the years, and I am especially proud that the timeless beauty of The Royal Pavilion continues to attract so many thousands of people each year.
“Recently the Pavilion Estate also received a significant financial boost of £5 million towards a major restoration project from the Heritage Lottery Fund which proves the importance of this, one of the city’s finest cultural landmarks.
“Coming on the back of £5.8 million from Arts Council England, there is no denying that this strong endorsement speaks volumes for the imaginative vision of the future of Brighton’s Cultural Quarter.
“I am particularly excited that the first phase will see the refurbishment of the Grade I Brighton Dome Corn Exchange and a major renovation of the Grade II Studio Theatre. This will add to the rich vibrant mix of entertainment already on offer in Brighton showcasing the very best of the arts, music and live theatre.
“With the news that Vue Cinemas will also no longer be proceeding with plans for a multi-screen complex at Brighton Hippodrome in Middle Street there is now the opportunity to save the building as a live theatrical venue. This is, indeed, an exciting time for the tourism and entertainment industry in Brighton.
The Minister later tweeted her support for Clarence's Pavilion campaign directly, saying:
Helen Grant MP @HelenGrantMP ·
Enjoyed visit to iconic tourist attraction the Royal Pavilion with fantastic PPC for Brighton Pavilion @mitch_1uk