New Welcome Building by Congress is opened in Eastbourne
Eastbourne’s multi-million pound conference and exhibition venue offering what the council describes as first class facilities for national and international events at the Devonshire Quarter is complete.
The new Welcome Building has been created to “reinforce” the town’s reputation as a premier conference destination and forms a key part of Eastbourne council’s £54 million development alongside its sporting and cultural offer.
Council leader David Tutt 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 conference opportunities. Devonshire Quarter is a truly transformational project and hugely exciting for the town and our long-term prosperity.”
Now contractor Vinci has handed the completed building over to the council, its first role will be to provide support space for the upcoming international tennis tournament.
The Welcome Building has conference halls, break out and hospitality areas, the site’s central box office and a public café opening in July.
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 a 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 more than 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.