Save Hanover!

Two fantastic campaigns have sprung into life this week, as our community steps forward to try to save important local features. First up – a pub:

1. Save The Greys

The Greys pub on Southover Street has long been famous for fine food, great beer, and its intimate and friendly atmosphere, with music nights that attract high profile, international folk, country and blues artists.

Over the past five years, however, this extremely popular local has seen multiple changes of management and been starved of investment. It is now in danger of closing its doors forever.

The Friends of the Greys was formed to try and offer up a better, brighter future for The Greys and the building has been granted Asset of Community Value status by the Council; but we now have only until late December to make a successful bid to Save The Greys!

Who are The Friends of The Greys?

We are a group of old, new and in some cases, ex-residents who, not only love The Greys for all its history and warmth, but who want to realise a sense of community and shared values within this amazing, diverse corner of Brighton & Hove.  The Greys as a Community Free House has the potential to offer all residents a social space in which they can contribute and share in projects aimed at enhancing and strengthening their community.

What a Community Free House will mean

Our vision is to reinvent The Greys as a social enterprise owned and run by the residents of Hanover and the wider public of Brighton and beyond. We aim to provide a daytime resource for community groups, offering space for creativity, learning, support and wellbeing initiatives run by, and for, residents.

We will also focus on providing the very best of British and worldwide real ales and craft beers, locally sourced food, and reinvigorating the Greys tradition of live music. Any surplus will be ploughed back into local community causes.

We are working hard to develop a business plan and identify potential sources of external funding.  We are also planning a share offering to be launched later in the autumn, giving the public the opportunity to become owners of this new Community Free House – and enjoy benefits as members of this social enterprise.

 To find out more, visit the website or click on the image in the lefthand sidebar

2. Save the Trees

Next up, Hanover Action have launched a crowdfunder to replace dead street trees in the area:

Saving our diminishing tree canopy in Brighton and Hove.

We are fundraising to replace dead street street trees in Hanover & Elm Grove.

£350 Initial Target:

This will help us to replace two trees:

1. A Silver Birch (Betula pendula) tree in Ewart Street (Hanover) that forms part of the silver birch planting in the whole street.

2. A Wych Elm outside Elm Grove School, Elm Grove.

These two tree replacements are possible with our initial £350 target and the offer of match-funding from local Councillor David Gibson’s ‘Ward Councillor Budget Scheme 2017-18’. Agreement has been secured from Brighton & Hove Council for enabling works (Highways Basic Maintenance would prepare grinding site and reinstate hard surfaces ).

Our £1,500 Stretch Target!

We want to exceed the initial £350 target so we can replace other dead trees.

3. This include a Wych Elm tree at the junction of Totland Road-Hartington Road, that forms part of the avenue of Elms that runs from the Lewes Road all the way up Hartington Road.

4. A Wych Elm at 225 Elm Grove:

These last two trees will be replaced in negotiation with Brighton & Hove Council for the enabling works. Due to lack of Council funding this may include a larger financial contribution to enabling works, and reinstatement of pavement, etc.

Please help us however small your donation 🙂

Find their crowdfunder at or click on the picture in the sidebar.


Friends of the Level Meeting and Update

Guest post thanks to Matt Cook of Friends of the Level
Dear all,
The Friends of the Level would like to invite you to a General Meeting on Tuesday 25th Septemember at the Phoenix community centre from 7:00pm. All are welcome.
The Level is a vibrant community space used by a wide range of people of all ages and diverse backgrounds. Whether it is used for playing football, cricket or Frisbee, practising circus skills, dog walking, skating or just relaxing, meeting friends and having a picnic, The Level remains a vital and well-used community park, much loved by the residents of Brighton for centuries.
In light of the news of the £2.2 million of Heritage Lottery Fund money that is about to be spent on the redevelopment of The Level, and the iminent closure of the Level, the Friends of The Level are holding a general meeting to discus the implications of the new park and what people from local community can do to take part in its future.
The Friends of The Level are an open community group that serves as a platform for residents, community groups and park users to come together to discuss and promote activities and events that help create a positive and enriching park, and to help preserve the environmental, historical and cultural heritage of The Level for future generations.
On the Agenda
  • An update on the Parks Projects redevelopment plans.
  • Schedule for the Level redevelopment and information on the children’s playground.
  • Update on skate park funding
  • Treasury report
  • Upcoming events
  • A discussion on what types of activities/events that people would like to see on The Level
  • An open discussion from those people attending the meeting on what the FOTL might aspire to and its future role in the community.
Please feel free to circulate this invitation to any you feel would be interested in attending or finding out more about what the Friends of the Level are planning in 2012.
Best wishes
Mat Cook
Chair – Friends of the Level

Vote Hanover, Vote Paul!

A guest post from Paul Norman (@PaulinBrighton ) from Hanover 10:10 who is well on the way to raising TEN GRAND for the Hanover Centre for roof insulation – though he needs your help! Please read, be inspired and follow the link at the end to vote for Paul and help improve your community centre.


Raising interest in a more sustainable lifestyle that drives down carbon means you have to focus…. but how? What are the priorities? What are the problems in practice? With these issues in mind Hanover10:10 have developed a project with our well-used Hanover Community Centre building. This former Victorian school currently has little insulation, and none in the roof!   

We have developed the Hanover Centre Carbon RACE (Reduction, Awareness & Community Engagement) to lead an eco-retrofit of the building. We have had huge support from the local community, with residents attending volunteer insulation events, and have involved University of Brighton students in this community-focused, educational, and practical project to insulate, make adaptations, consider energy generation, and show how these are transferable to the local housing. 

The student technical projects have mapped out the works, priorities (and challenges!) that we face and now we need to work out how to pay for it. Luckily our project was selected last December as one of 10 nationally for an EDF competition to reward sustainability initiatives. We had to report, blog and communicate our work. Now the public decides! Voting opened during the Olympics on 6th August and we are now in a clear 2nd place. But, we need to be 1st to get the £10,000 no strings attached prize, and so immediately funding our “shovel-ready” works at the Centre.

Please Vote for £10,000 for Hanover Centre enviro-refit


Social Media at the Hanover Hub

Back by popular demand, two more Social Media Surgery events at the ‘Hub on the Hill’ Place Space sessions at the Hanover Centre.

The previous events held in May attracted a great and diverse bunch of individuals and groups who wanted to get more out of the web, and was supported by a top notch array of volunteer ‘surgeons’ helping others with knowledge, skillls and advice.

Next Thursday (July 12th) and the one after (July 19th) as well as being our Social Media Surgery events, will be the last Space Place sessions for the summer. If you have not been thus far, do drop in – the informal sessions   include crafting skillshare, home made cakes and light lunches at the cafe, free wifi and laptop, a second hand bookstall and local history resources.

The Social Media Surgery saessions start at 12 noon, but the Place Space is open from 10.30 for all its other things. Hope you can come.

News From The Triangle

The Triangle Community Group think about the (more or less) triangular area bounded by Lewes Rd, Upper Lewes Rd and Union Rd/The Level. Our mainarea odf common interest is the Lewes Road, but they have also put together some really good initiatives around greening their streets and improving their neighbourhood. here is thier latest newsletter


Spring 2012

New Planters for Lewes Road! Join in our community planting – 11am Saturday 21 April

Meet outside the Park Crescent Health Centre at the end of Park Crescent/Lewes Road for refreshments. A few years ago, the Triangle Community Group did a survey of local people which showed that everyone would like more trees, plants and flowers to improve the quality of life in our area. We received funding from the Council and established planters in various locations along Lewes Road and since then, a few residents have maintained them, watered them in dry weather and put new plants in. The planters have recently been looking a bit the worse for wear, and as part of the Lewes Road improvements the Council offered to replace them with much better quality planters which would match the benches recently installed. The Council will provide new compost and a selection of plants – and now it is up to us to help plant them! The date we have agreed is 21 April, from 11am, and we would love lots of residents to come along and help with the planting. If you can also help to water the plants during the summer, and keep them tidy, then that would be brilliant! It is up to us to keep an eye on the new planters and make sure they bring a breath of fresh air and some colour to our area, so come along on the 21 April and have a fun session planting up our new planters. Bring the kids, every child will get a free children’s gardening set to keep!

Lewes Road Improvements

Everyone living in the Lewes Road area will have received a consultation document about the next stages of the improvement plan for Lewes Road. You can already see a difference – the pavements are tidier, we have new benches to sit on, and lots of out of date road signs have been removed. The traffic is flowing better since the removal of one of the pedestrian crossings, and it feels safer to cross the road. And lots more improvements are being planned, including changes to the Vogue Gyratory, and these will make things much better for drivers, cyclists, bus passengers and pedestrians.

Eating and Greeting

The Triangle Community Group represents and includes everyone who lives in the area including both sides of Lewes Road, and the streets between Lewes Road, Upper Lewes Road and Union Road. This means we try to hold meetings for and communicate with all residents, families, students, older people, children, and local businesses, churches, shops, and schools. Our latest project aims to bring fresh local food to Lewes Road, and the opportunity for students and residents to meet and eat together. Students from the University of Brighton have given their time to help get the project off the ground.

A pilot session was organised on 11 April, based in St Martin’s Church Hall, and supported by the Food Partnership. Ashurst Organics provided fresh organic vegetables, and these were washed, prepared and cooked into a lovely nourishing soup which was served up with bread and cups of tea for anyone who wanted to join in. Those who couldn’t stay to chat took some soup away in disposable containers. The result was a friendly and relaxing couple of hours, with people of all ages eating and chatting and getting to know each other: babies, students, local residents, people just dropping in. We hope to use this pilot session to get funding for more sessions and make this a regular opportunity for people to get together and get to know each other.

See our website for details of more sessions in the future, and keep an eye out for posters and leaflets advertising more similar events in the coming months. 

Triangle Meetings in 2012

The Triangle Community Group Committee meets regularly every few weeks, our more formal discussions are held in the Salvation Army, and sometimes we meet in the Bugle. Everyone is welcome to join in our discussions and raise concerns or bring ideas to the table.

Next meeting: 24 May 2012

People’s Day – 14 July

People’s Day is a community event presenting and promoting local communities and voluntary groups across Brighton and Hove, and celebrating the diversity reflected through all such active groups. Last year it was held in the centre of Brighton around the Jubilee Library/New Road area, but this year, it will also extend to the Level, and we hope to set up a display of photographs and other material showing how the streets in the Triangle area used to look – just a simple snapshot of life in Lewes Road, and how it has changed over the years.

If you have any photos you would like to lend us for this display, please contact me by e-mail: Any help or ideas would be very welcome.

Project funding opportunities

Funding for local projects is being made available through panels of local people in the St Peters and North Laine ward, and the Triangle Community Group is represented on two of these panels, along with other community groups and volunteer organisations working with the Trust for Developing Communities.

In this time of ‘cutbacks’ and ‘austerity’, there is not very much money available, but the panel system, does mean that we can get involved and play a part in encouraging the development of new ideas for community projects.

Details of funding panel opportunities will be on our web pages, so if you have a project in mind, or if you are involved in a local voluntary group which is developing or maintaining a service or activity for local people in the area then funding could be available to support it. The application system is quite simple and straightforward, not too complicated and time-consuming!

The Level : Project Update March 2012

(A Guest Post by Linda Anglin who manages the Council Parks Projects Team)

The Level Project Update March 2012

Start of the Delivery Phase: I hope everyone is enjoying this lovely spring sunshine. Since our last update announcing the fantastic news that the Heritage Lottery Fund and Big Lottery Fund ‘Parks for People’ bid was successful, we have been busy getting the project team in place and ready to start the delivery phase of the project. I’m happy therefore to welcome onto the project team Gill Thompson and Claire Morgan. Gill will be making sure the Capital Works programme is delivered as planned and Claire, who starts on 16 April, will be working with local residents and community groups to deliver the Activity Plan actions.

We have also completed the tender process for the Lead Landscape Architect and I’m pleased to report that Land Use Consultants will continue working with us to complete this final stage of the project. They have commenced the next stage of the design process, which is drawing up detailed specification drawings which are needed for the construction tender.

The timetable for the capital works is as follows:

  • Detailed specification February 2012 to April 2012
  • Preparation of tender documents May 2012 to June 2012
  • Issue construction tender End of June 2012
  • Evaluate and appoint successful contractor September 2012
  • Build Phase October 2012 to June 2013

We won’t have an agreed build programme until the contractors have been appointed. However, due to the extent of work and to ensure safety on-site during construction, it’s likely that the south end will be closed for the majority of the time which is why we are scheduling the work to be carried out over the winter season. I’ll be able to give a more detailed build plan in the Autumn once the build contractors have been appointed.


A design concept is being prepared for the new playground and we will be holding consultation exhibitions on The Level in March and April to get feedback from children and their parents/guardians. The consultation exhibition dates are at the end of this newsletter.


Work has commenced on the design for the new skatepark, and we will be holding consultation exhibitions at the same time as the Playgrounds ones noted above. I’ve attached a separate update for the skatepark project which includes more details.

Dogs welcome areas

Concerns about dogs not under control and dog mess and having dog free areas were issues raised by residents during the consultation. However, it is recognised that responsible dog walkers provide a valuable service by providing year round natural surveillance in the park, especially during dark mornings and evenings. While it is intended that all grass areas in the south end and the fountain area are completely dog free, dog owners have expressed an interest in allowing dogs on leads on the paths which lead through the south end. We could run a short pilot to see if this would work but it would need the support and help from dog owners to help us promote and enforce this. If this is something you would like to help with, please let us know. We will also be getting people’s views on this at the consultation exhibitions being held for the playground and skatepark.

Digital Story Telling Project

In May, Fiona will be launching the digital story telling project to invite anyone with an interest in The Level’s history to get involved with this exciting project. We believe that this will bring further depth and context to the more recent history of the park; by engaging volunteers to assist with the research and collection of materials about The Levels unique history the information will be more accessible to the local community. Our primary interest is with the heritage of the Level, the 1930’s design and the historic community use of The Level both in centuries past and decade by decade in more recent times. We will be exploring the following themes through further research and digital story telling techniques, e.g. sound and video recording, photographs, documents and oral history.

  • The playground and the use of The Level for play and recreation
  • Community Celebrations and regular events
  • WW2
  • Peace and Protest
  • Prohibitionists rallies and the underworld of the park
  • The skatepark and skatepark competitions

If you are interested in volunteering you will be asked to attend a number of training sessions; these will provide training on how to use local research facilities, how to establish a system of recording the archives that have been examined and how to collate and catalogue materials. You will be given the opportunity to choose a theme that is of interest to research further your self. Volunteers will meet as a group regularly to talk about what they have found, how their findings fit within The Level history timeline and discuss the best way to interpret the findings. Let us know if you are interested; contact details are at end of this update letter.

Communities of The Level

We said last time that we would be getting in touch with local community groups to start discussing how they wanted to be involved in the project. This has been delayed while we get the Activity Project Officer in place and we hope to get back to you by the end of April.

Art Installation in the centre of the north lawns

A brief has now been prepared to recruit an artist to work with us. This will be used to invite expressions of interest. Representatives from a few of the local community groups will be invited to sit on the decision panel. As part of the brief, we would be asking the successful artist to work with the local community to design the art installation. More details will be available in May.

 Dates for Your Diary

Bluebell Planting with the Rangers: Wednesday 28 March 3.30 to 5 pm

Gloves and tools supplied and accompanied children welcome. Meet at the crossroads in the north half of The Level. For more information, please contact the Park Rangers on 01273 292929 or email

Consultation Exhibitions on The Level for the skatepark and playground:

Saturday 31 March, Tuesday 3 April and Monday 16 April:

  • 11 am to 2 pm
  • 11 am to 1 pm
  • 3 pm to 6 pm

Contact Us:

Find out more information by logging on to Email us at with any ideas and suggestions. If you do not have access to the internet, we are happy to send you information by post. Please write to us at Brighton & Hove City Council, Parks Projects Team,Hollingdean Depot, Upper Hollingdean Road, Brighton BN1 7GA or call us on 01273 292929.

The Level Skatepark Project Update March 2012

The Project & Project Team: The City Parks Project Team working with Sports Development and the Brighton & Hove Skateparks Association (BHSA) are leading on the skatepark project, which is an important aspect of the larger Restoration Project for The Level. The fact that the two schemes have now over-lapped in timescale is completely coincidental, however it is hoped that potential investors will gain renewed confidence from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Big Lottery Fund investment and the knowledge that the rest of the parks regeneration is shortly to commence.

Freestyle Skateparks will be designing and building the new skatepark. They were appointed in December 2011 following a competitive tender process. A BHSA representative was included in the evaluation panel for this process.

Lewes & Co Planning South East Limited have been appointed to help prepare the planning application for the new skatepark. They will ensure that the appropriate consultation is undertaken and that any issues raised are addressed at the earliest possible opportunity during the design process.

To ensure its integration into the rest of the park, the Landscape Architects for the Restoration Project, Land Use Consultants, will also work closely with Freestyle to ensure appropriate boundary treatment and landscaping.

Commitment by the council

Approval for the Master Plan for the whole park was granted in the Environment, Transport & Sustainability Cabinet Members Meeting on the 5th July 2011. This confirmed the location of the new skatepark and committed £150,000 towards the new skatepark, made up of £97,000 S106 developer’s contributions and £53,000 from council budget. The new skatepark will be around 1400m² and it is estimated to cost around £350,000. We will be aiming to raise the additional funding required through grants and sponsorship.

Design Process

Freestyle has had a number of meetings with the BHSA to discuss initial design ideas in order to develop a design which best meets the requirements of skaters and BMXers and provides for all levels of experience. They have also been working with LUC on the boundaries, landscaping, etc to ensure a thorough and cohesive design is presented for consultation by the BHSA. All the feedback received from local residents and other park users during the consultation and engagement undertaken last year for the whole park has being taken into account when designing the new skatepark. The proposed design will be consulted on between 31 March and 25 April and you can view the designs and give your feedback in the following ways:

Consultation Exhibitions on The Level: Come along to meet the design team, view the design and complete a questionnaire:

  • Saturday 31 March 11 am to 2 pm
  • Tuesday 3 April 11 am to 1 pm (near the Playbus)
  • Monday 16 April 3 pm to 6 pm

Consultation Portal: Log on to to view the design and complete a questionnaire on line.

Web Site: The design will also be available to view on the council website and BHSA website

By post: If you are not able to attend any of the exhibitions or you do not have access to the internet, we are happy to send you information by post. Please write to us at Brighton & Hove City Council, Parks Projects Team, Hollingdean Depot, Upper Hollingdean Road, Brighton BN1 7GA or call us on 01273 292929

Planning & Funding

After the consultation period has been completed and the design has been finalised, a Planning Application will be prepared and submitted to the Planning Authority. This will be around May this year and will take between 8 to 12 weeks before a decision is made. Planning permission will be sought for the full 1400m² skatepark. Following that, grant funding bids will be prepared and submitted. This is likely to include bids for sponsorship from business as well as bids to funding bodies such as Veolia and Sport England. We cannot confirm exactly which grants we will be going for as it will depend on whether or not we have any success with business sponsorship and also what grants are available at the time. We are applying for planning permission before we make any applications as some funding bodies require this to be done before they would consider grant applications.It is expected that the outcome of any bids will be known by the end of the year.

Building the new skatepark

Work on the new skatepark will commence in the New Year 2013. Whether we are able to build the whole skatepark in one phase or whether it needs to be built in two or more phases will depend on what additional funding we manage to secure. The exact timescale for the build is dependent on this and so cannot be confirmed at this point.

Indicative Timetable


  • Jan to Apr Design and Consultation Phase
  • May Submit Planning Application
  • July Decision on Planning Application
  • July onwards Submit bids for funding
  • December Decision on funding bids


  • Jan to May Build Phase

Please note these dates are provisional and may change.

The Space Place

Ever felt that you just don’t have enough room? Living in this area – especially the ‘Hanover’ bit – we expect you probably have… and this is why a new project at the Hanover Centre might be right up your street.

With an emphasis on cake, crafts and creation, the Hanover Centre ground floor is transformed each Thusday afternoon into the Space Place – a venue for all of those projects which need a little extra room, could do with a helping hand or are just better done in company.

As well as the sorts of things mentioned on the flyer above, after Easter we will be joining in and running some Social Media Surgeries – bringing in techie support for for residents and local community groups wanting to get the best out of the web – and as the weather warms up the the SpacePlacers are planning to make use of the community centre garden as well as the hall.

Lovely friendly gathering and really good use of the community hall to help, inspire, create and innovate. Do drop in.