Old Floating Pagoda Restaurant Is Given New Life As Community Hub

Brighton Marina is pleased to announce the renovations of the former floating Chinese restaurant berthed at the corner of the outer harbour by the boardwalk restaurants.

Barge Interior 2Until the beginning of 2016, The Barge, (formerly known as the Brighton Pagoda) operated as a floating Chinese restaurant for many years. Brighton Marina has spent several months looking at opportunities to turn the now empty vessel into an attractive and progressive youth and community hub to benefit groups and organisations across the city.

Now undergoing extensive renovations to ensure a new lease of life, The Barge will launch this summer as an innovative mixed-use arts, events and community space—one that can attract an even Barge Exteriorbroader demographic into the heart of the Marina. The team managing The Barge have commissioned local illustrator, Kate Forrester, to develop its branding and have worked closely with local architects Chalk to dream up ideas for a multi-use interior.

A range of creative organisations are already expressing interest in becoming part of its programming, such as the Brighton Dome, the Brighton People’s Theatre, Little Green Pig and Blockbuilders.

We are thrilled at being able to collaborate with others,” says Eugenie Teasley, part of The Barge team. “We want to complement the Marina’s great commercial offers while transforming The Barge into a sustainable space for everyone right in the heart of the place.”

Barge Interior 1While renovations are underway, the team is running a Very Short Story Writing Competition for primary school pupils across Brighton & Hove during April and May. Children are asked to dive into their imaginations and fish out creative stories about what they envision The Barge could look like, or what it might have been, in a story that is precisely 50 words long.

“Over the last year while the Barge has been looking a little worse for wear, we’ve constantly heard passers-by stop and wonder what has happened,” says Eugenie Teasley. “We are keen to play to people’s curiosity and get them to let their imagination run wild. Briefly.”

Prizes include publication of winning stories, family tickets for the Brighton Dome and vouchers for Marina restaurants including Gourmet Burger Kitchen.

The deadline for submissions is Friday May 26.

For more information on how to enter the Very Short Story Writing Competition visit mystoryatthemarina.tumblr.com

The Barge started life in 1921 as “The Selby Virgo”, a Humber barge, conveying bulk seed, grain and nuts from the Hull Docks to the Selby Mills on the River Ouse. In 1987 it was de-commissioned, and dry-docked at the New Holland Ship Yard to have the hull fully double plated. In the 1990s it was sold to a restaurant operator, who added a top structure and interior, and for the next 20 years it operated as The Pagoda at Brighton Marina, a floating Chinese restaurant. It is 29.26m long and 5.33m wide, giving an internal floor space over two floors of approximately 280 sq m.